Stephen Mayne: I would just like to comment, from the groans in the room...
Chairman: a question or a comment?
Stephen Mayne: Well both. I think from the groans in the room, I simply would like to say to Mr Harris that next year hopefully this company will get with the program and allow directors who are seeking a three year term to speak.
There's nothing wrong with that at a public company annual meeting. I often find it looks very defensive and very old school, when the chairman controls all the debate and doesn't allow candidates for election at a public company to speak.
I would like to ask Grahame a question, and I hope that you will indulge us Mr Chairman and allow him to speak to answer a direct question that I have from him. I'd simply like him to ask how he feels about the company's prospects?
Is he feeling particularly upbeat about it?
I think his credentials are perfect for this company. He has long experience in the building products industry. He hasn't served more than 10 years - he's only been on the board since 2004. He's younger - albeit 61; he's younger than most of the independent directors on this board, so he is relatively fresh. He's got good experience, he's not overburdened with workload, and I would also like him to clarify as to where he lives and how that works with being a director of an Adelaide-based company.
And my final comment would simply be that when the new chairman finally does take control.....
Chairman: which is after this meeting.
Stephen Mayne: which is after this meeting. I do hope that he will embrace the current agenda around gender diversity. Which i think is running harder then ever before.
Australia at 8.3 % female directors of top 200 companies is one of the worst performers in the world. This company is one of the 15 or 20 or so companies with zero gender diversity. I am not going to speak against Grahame on the basis that he is a man, but i am going to say that I hope with this board renewal process you will get with the program, and maybe at next year's AGM, we'll actually hear a female candidate speak to her nomination to the board like normal directors would at a public company when seeking re-election.
Chairman: I fully understand the social and pressure that's placed on companies who are going to consider appropriate female appointments, and we ensure that we do consider those women who show they are interested in being considered, and we'll continue to do so.
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