On 20 October 2021, the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 (the Bill) was introduced into parliament with the objective of modernising the use of technology under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corporations Act).
The Bill makes permanent changes to the Corporations Act by altering how companies can hold meetings and utilise technology to execute and serve company documents.
Specifically, the reforms permit:
- companies and registered schemes to hold physical and hybrid meetings—provided all members are given a reasonable opportunity to attend. Wholly virtual meetings may also be used if they are expressly required or permitted by the constitution;
- company documents, including deeds, to be validly executed in technology neutral and flexible manners, including by company agents;
- companies and registered schemes to send documents in hardcopy or softcopy and provide members the flexibility to receive documents in their preferred format; and
- proprietary companies with a sole director and no company secretary to utilise the statutory document execution mechanisms under s 127 of the Corporations Act.
The reforms provide permanent changes in the wake of recently renewed temporary measures provided by Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Act 2021—reflecting the government’s consideration that long-term economic recovery post-COVID-19 necessitates a flexible and modern regulatory environment.
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