Fairfax deploys no vacancy rule

October 8, 2009

Dear Journalists,

Fairfax Media released the notice of meeting for the 2009 AGM in Sydney on November 10 at 5.40pm this afternoon and here are a couple of comments:

"It is disappointing the Fairfax Media directors have chosen to deploy the no vacancy rule when it has been identified as an impediment to boardroom accountability by the Productivity Commission."

"Rather than declaring there to be only two vacancies for the four candidates, Fairfax should accept all directors who receive more than 50% of the vote in favour because this would still leave them below the maximum of 12 prescribed in the company's constitution."

"It is also disappointing that Fairfax Media has recommended shareholders vote against all three external candidates - Steve Harris, Gerard Noonan and Stephen Mayne - despite the combined 70-plus years experience they have in the media."

"Even worse, the board has decided to vote undirected proxies against the three external candidates, which is another poor governance practice identified by the Productivity Commission."

"However, at least the Fairfax Media board have not censored the platforms of any of the external candidates and they are to be commended for promptly supplying a useable electronic copy of the share register for proxy solicitation purposes."

For further information:
Stephen Mayne 0412 106 241 or reply to this email