Public companies in Australia will be permanently allowed to hold virtual annual general meetings under new laws proposed by the government.
Publicly listed companies were given the ability to hold wholly online AGMs during the pandemic to allow them to fulfil their reporting requirements under the Corporations Act.
The previous situation allowed shareholders to join virtually but did not allow the entire meeting to be held online, requiring a physical venue.
The government’s reform was initially a temporary measure and put in place until the end of March next year.
But a bill introduced to parliament on Wednesday will make the reform permanent.
Documents will be able to be signed electronically and members will be able to receive digital copies of documents under the new legislation.
The government expects the new reforms to impact around one million businesses and deliver around $450 million a year in savings by companies conducting meetings online.