ASA changes, AGM season, Manningham, Rupert, Doyle, pokies, GetUp, City of Melbourne campaign and then some

October 14, 2012

Dear Mayne Report readers,

Greetings for the first time since our last bumper email edition on September 6. Sorry it has been a 6 week break. If you'd rather not receive these supposedly monthly newsletters, click here to unsubscribe. If you'd link to send it to others, here's the URL link.

If you weren't up early on Sunday, I was on the Inside Business panel with Alan Kohler alongside Marcus Padley and The AFR's Nabila Ahmed. We covered plenty of juicy topics which can be individually viewed on the ABC website as follows:

How can ACCC block Seven's Foxtel bid but keep approving News Corp takeovers?

If only all corporates were as honest as the new Vodafone Australia boss

Why aren't retail investors being offered a slice of the QR National action?

Why Gordan Merchant should be voted off the Billabong board

AGM season wrap with News Corp and Cochlear highlighted

Alternatively, click here for the full program.

Stepping down and up for a big AGM season at the Australian Shareholders' Association

First up in this overdue edition, the ASA published the following press release last month:

The Chairman of the Australian Shareholders' Association, Ian Curry, today announces that Stephen Mayne has resigned as a director with effect from Thursday, 20 September 2012 in order to take up a consultancy role with the ASA. On Monday, 24 September 2012, Stephen will enter into a short-term consultancy that will involve acting as Policy & Engagement Coordinator with emphasis on company monitoring.

This appointment follows the resignation of Michael Ansell as Research Manager, due to the pressure of other commitments. Michael worked three days a week for ASA on research and company monitoring.

Stephen will report to ASA CEO Vas Kolesnikoff and will work closely with company monitors across Australia, especially during the coming AGM season when executive pay, corporate performance, potential board spills from the "two strikes" legislation and disclosure will all be vigorously debated.

ASA has approximately 100 monitors working with ASX 200 companies through direct engagement, voting recommendations and attending AGMs. It now also votes more than $4 billion worth of undirected proxies, largely for small shareholders, each year.

ASA directors welcome this increased commitment from Stephen who has been at the forefront of demanding higher standards of corporate governance and accountability for many years.

"Stephen's unique experience in being involved with more than 400 AGMs will strengthen ASA's research and corporate governance activities," Chairman Ian Curry said.

Stephen thanked Vas and the ASA for their support.

"ASA's profile has risen under the leadership of CEO Vas Kolesnikoff and I look forward to working with all the staff and volunteers to help the organisation deliver on its mandate to stand up for shareholders," Mr Mayne said.

Stephen was first elected to the ASA board in May 2011 and currently monitors five media companies: News Corp, REA Group, Carsales, Seek and Southern Cross Media.

Dorothy bowls up the tough questions other don't

Frankly, it has been surprising that no journalist, Crikey reader, punter, ASA member or Mayne hater has challenged this unusual arrangement with me so in keeping with our transparency obsession, here's a little in-house interview with Dorothy Dix in the interests of full disclosure:

Q. Why resign from the ASA board?
A. Because the ASA constitution says no director can be paid in any way.

Q. So how much are you getting paid?
A. $900 a week plug GST through Mayne Report Pty Ltd.

Q. Why are you tweeting about ASA matters through @maynereport rather than through the ASA Twitter account?
A. The consultancy arrangement is with Mayne Report Pty Ltd and that includes the full distribution means of this email newsletter, Twitter, the large archive and potential access to various corporate lists.

. How short is this short term consultancy?
A. Through until the end of May next year after the big ASA conference in Sydney, the ASA AGM and the AGM mini-season, but the board can terminate the arrangement at very short notice if it doesn't work out?

Q. What does this mean for your run at Melbourne City Council?
A. Still goes ahead, but I'm running a minimalist campaign as 50 hours a week is being ploughed into the ASA's AGM season effort.

Q. Are you confident of getting elected?
A. Hopeful, yes, courtesy of good polices, reasonable name recognition, a strong running mate in Michele Anderson, good preference flows, the 250 word statement and a favourable position on the ballot paper.

Q. How was the first three weeks working at ASA?
A. Great, have had 2 trips to Sydney and spent 4 full days in the Chatswood office. Am loving working with all the great ASA volunteers but the workload is huge as we battle to cover about 150 AGMs in 8 weeks and that includes published reports before and after each AGM.

Q. What does this mean for your sometimes renegade advocacy at AGMs?
A. I have to promote and support agreed ASA positions. For instance, I can no longer just sound off about Woolies and the pokies, especially at the upcoming Get-Up EGM in Adelaide.

Q. Are you still writing for Crikey?
A. Last piece was two months ago on August 16 so this is the longest non-appearance in 12 years, but will try to sneak the odd council or AGM season piece through if the opportunity arises.

Q. And what about the memoir?
A. Ummm, certainly not this year. Let's just make it through to Christmas first.

Q. Thanks for answering the hard questions.
A. No worries, Dorothy.

Plenty of AGM action already with Billabong, Harry Boon and Cochlear

The Fairfax papers carried reports on Saturday that Billabong founder Gordan Merchant has sent a legal letter to ASA requesting that we change our recommendation that he be voted off the board at the AGM on the Gold Coast later this month. See the notice of meeting for details.

Considering what happened on Friday when the Billabong share price tanked 16% after private equity firm TPG walked away, we have indeed updated our commentary and it now reads as follows:

Item 1:
Re-election of Gordan Merchant as a director
ASA Recommendation: Against

Summary of ASA position:
In his position as the founder and largest shareholder he effectively prevented the Board of Directors engaging over an indicative offer of $3.30 per share from TPG Capital in February 2012. In a letter from his lawyers to the board, Mr Merchant claimed that an offer of $3 per share "vastly under-valued" Billabong and expressed opposition to TPG being granted access to commence due diligence even if the offer price was lifted to $4 per share. Despite all his insights from being a director, Mr Merchant mistakenly believed a $4 offer "would still represent a discount to the true value of Billabong shares". Eight months later Billabong has announced another profit warning, conducted an emergency 6-for-7 rights issue at $1.02 and seen its share price plunge to a low of 82c on October 12 after TPG terminated negotiations over a potential revised offer pitched at $1.45 per share. The decision not to realistically engage with TPG potentially cost Mr Merchant and all shareholders dearly as the business continued to deteriorate through 2012. In his position as a Director, he should have known the difficult financial position the company was in and acted accordingly. His failure to do so warrants shareholders voting him off the board at the 2012 AGM.

ASA has also take a strong position in recommending against the re-election of Tatts chairman Harry Boon. Check out the reasoning here.

And the first big protest vote of the season is likely to come on Tuesday with Cochlear's proposal to grant CEO Chris Roberts another very large parcel of options which are already in the money. ASA's Voting Intentions on Cochlear are available here.

Why not join and help the ASA this season?

One of the challenges of this AGM season is getting coverage to the small stocks, especially those which are on a second strike with their remuneration report. There are more than 100 apparently, although we've only found about 20 so far.

If anyone fancies lending us a hand or getting involved, drop us an email to

Given there are hundreds of professional advocates, namely barristers who also carry important voting rights in the City of Melbourne, who read these missives, have a think about potentially assisting ASA to supplement the heavy lifting of our volunteer monitors during the peak October and November period.

You'd need to be an ASA member to assist, so why not start with a Green package which only costs $115? And if you spot any tiddlers on a second strike, drop us a line about that too. This week's mailbag through up another couple in Cooper Resources and Keybridge Capital.

City of Melbourne campaign continues

The AGM season consultancy for the ASA doesn't change the plans to get elected to Melbourne City Council this month for what will hopefully be a lively 4 year term.

However, I obviously can't and won't campaign full-time and certainly didn't back in 2008 when elected to Manningham City Council with a primary vote of 18.7% in a 10-horse field. It shouldn't be that hard to elected given the quota in Melbourne has been reduced from 14.2% to 10% after the decision to expand the council numbers from 7 to 9, in addition to the Lord Mayor and deputy who contest a separate leadership election.

Whilst Robert Doyle has done a competent job and is highly likely to be re-elected, it won't be healthy for democracy if his estimated $400,000 campaign fund delivers a majority of 6 out of 11.

Doyle supporters, most of whom hail from the Melbourne business community, are being encouraged to take out some insurance in the council. They could do worse than voting Doyle-Mayne, for a pro-business perspective on the council. I voted for pollster Gary Morgan to be Lord Mayor, as shareholders in his listed resources play Haoma Mining have done extremely well in the past month. Maybe Haoma will one day be big enough for ASA to monitor.

Morgan and John Elliott are running hard on this idea that 1 term as Lord Mayor is long enough. It's a shame Big Jack didn't have a similar philosophy at Carlton Football Club.

As Robert Doyle once told me during a chat on Collins Street, the Kennett Government performed well in its first term but got full of itself and fell away after being re-elected with a thumping majority in 1996.

Why risk the same hubris, arrogance, intolerance of critics and complacency by giving Team Doyle too much power in 2012? There are already quite a few stories circulating about his Rudd-like shouting bouts with officers and colleagues and now The Sunday Age has really blown up the debate about the cabal of developers funding his extravagant campaign. Interestingly, today's page 1 quoting an un-named developed being requested for cash in exchange for access is not online, so maybe the legal threats have been flying. All that's left of the package is this piece profiling the mysterious money man Kevin Louey who is heading up Team Doyle's council ticket.

Then there's the cronyism issue. Team Doyle's recent effort to push through the appointment of John Brumby and Doyle's factional ally in the Liberal Party, Mark Birrell, to the Citywide board was done with indecent haste, a point picked up in the comprehensive flyer sent to all electors by the Gary Morgan-John Elliott team last week.

There should have been a thoroughly independent, professional and arms length recruitment process at Citywide, the council-owned services company.

Robert Doyle's Green hypocrisy

I also can't believe Robert Doyle's hypocrisy with the Greens. Sitting at number two on the Doyle council ticket is long-time greenie, Arron Wood, whose book Billabong Boy carries a forward by Bob Brown.

If the Greens do indeed win the Leadership election we will have the most left-wing Melbourne City Council in many a year and Doyle's man Arron Wood would probably settle back in with the ruling clique.

Yet people like Jeff Kennett and Michael Kroger have come out swinging in the Green-hating Herald Sun against Gary Morgan and John Elliott for preferencing the Greens ahead of Team Doyle.

After working constructively with rising star Green councillor Cathy Oke for 4 years, the duplicitous Doyle has turned around and put her stone motherless last at number 40 on his council preference ticket.

This is disgraceful because he knows she's good and that there are some nutters in the field. He even had the audacity to claim his preferences were decided on merit.

Robert Doyle actually rang the Sunday Herald Sun late one Saturday and talked them out of running a council-related beat-up about Cathy Oke during the recent Melbourne by-election. She regarded him almost as a friend and certainly someone who has provided supportive references in the past.

If anything, Cathy Oke has been too supportive of Doyle over the past 4 years but she's now been treated appallingly in the context of this election. She's a modern, sensible Green not some ex Communist like Lee Rhiannon. Political leaders like Robert Doyle should be encouraging sensible women into leadership position. In spite of Doyle's anti-Green rhetoric, Cathy Oke will probably lift the Green vote in the council from 18% to more than 20%, especially given Labor's failure to field endorsed candidates to compete for the progressive inner-city residential vote.

Manningham update: Paula Piccinini attempts to improve representation in Mullum Mullum ward

The final item in the last edition of The Mayne Report gave a detailed summary of the governance and conduct issues at Manningham Council over the past 4 years, so it was a great relief when Cr Graeme Macmillan and Cr Ivan Reid both decided not to recontest.

Manningham is therefore in the same position as Darebin where a ruling gang of 5 has imploded with only one remnant faction member contesting the next election. This is a good outcome, but the next Manningham council would certainly benefit if the sole female member of Manningham's "Gang of Five", Cr Meg Downie, was defeated in Mullum Mullum ward.

My better half, Paula Piccinini, has had to live with much of the angst caused by Cr Downie, so she decided to run against her in Mullum Mullum and direct preferences to sensible candidates which, after a detailed assessment, ended up being Paul McLeish at 2, former mayor Bob Beynon at 3, accountant Michael Rogers at 4 and Warrandyte environmentalist Michelle Pini at 5.

Cr Downie is running with her old mate Raymond Hoser who let fly with wild allegations about a range of people, including Paula, in this article in The Manningham Leader last week.

When Raymond was in jail in 1995, Meg Downie somehow became connected through her love of dogs as someone had to look after Raymond's yapper when he was inside.

Raymond is a colourful snake catcher who simultaneously got done over on Today Tonight and A Current Affair last year for allowing a snake to bite his daughter during one of his shows. He has a long record of making outrageous corruption allegations yet ALP member Meg Downie can't see any problem with it. Indeed, it's arguable Raymond Hoser is not her worst running mate. The only bloke banned from entering council buildings is also supplying preferences, as is this bloke dubbed the neighbour from hell by the Herald Sun. Why the local papers don't put all this together about the associates of an elected councillor is beyond me. We lost our house in 2002 after republishing one of Hoser's press releases in Crikey attacking shock jock Steve Price and still Meg Downie couldn't see the dangers of listening to his wacky conspiracy theories.

Meg claims she works hard on council matters but I've never met anyone who causes more grief about trivial stuff such as who is invited to an event, whose picture is in the council magazine and who is chairing a meeting. She also bombards the long suffering officers with endless email requests on trivial matters.

I can't imagine many of Manningham's 800 staff voting for her and she might struggle to get back as the broader community were must unimpressed by the excessive $60,000 in expenses she wracked up over the past 4 years when her budget was only $36,000.

Back in 2006 when she was just a failed council candidate, Meg emailed one of the incumbent Manningham councillors as follows:

It is a shock to see how high your expenses are in relation to that of other councillors. Please could you advise:

* Why your expenses are so high
* What conferences you have attended
* If you have written a report about the conferences you attended and if so please would send me a copy of same.

Fast forward a few years and the hypocritical councillor firstly attempted to block all my attempts to get disclosure of councillor expenses and when her $22,000 splurge on interstate conferences was revealed, she refused to provide any detail and is yet to distribute any sort of report to her fellow councillors, despite demanding them of others in the past.

Therefore, if you live in Mullum Mullum, vote 1 Paula Piccinini and follow the preference card all the way down to lucky last at number 15, which should be Meg Downie. The charming Meg has reciprocated putting Paula last, even behind candidates with criminal records.

Footnote: The 2012 RACV board elections are over and Paula has once against proved herself to be the more successful election contestant in our marriage. More to be announced in due course.

Geoff Gough's games in the Heide ward

It is disappointing to see my old mate Geoff Gough, Manningham's Liberal mayor for 3 of the past 5 years, playing silly political games to get re-elected in our ward of Heide. Especially when preference deals and a big primary vote means he doesn't need to.

Geoff's 150 word statement distributed by ratepayers to voters claims: "I have never played political games and always deal with each issue on its merits."

He was certainly playing political games back in 2010 when he sat around the MAV (Municipal Association of Victoria) board table and proposed Meg Downie as a director of the CFA. This was summarily dismissed by his MAV board colleagues and Geoff only did it because he was seeking Meg's vote for the Manningham mayoralty. That's called playing political games and not dealing with issues on their merits because I know that Geoff knows that Meg Downie does not merit a position on the CFA board.

Mayor Gough was also playing political games at the September council meeting when he stopped being an impartial chair and started trying to move a series of amendments about the Templestowe Village Structure Plan. The debate dragged on for 45 minutes as the mayor tried to position himself as the saviour of public open space by opposing a long term proposal to partially develop the concrete netball courts at Templestowe Village to help fund a brand new indoor bastketball-netball stadium at Mullum Mullum Reserve.

Despite being a lifelong Bulleen resident, the mayor has done very little for the Bulleen Boomers during his 15 years on council even though it is easily the biggest sporting club in Manningham and the only local team to play in a national televised competition in the WNBL.

He knows full well that the $18 million Mullum Mullum stadium, which the Boomers strongly support, will never get funded unless some of that knee-breaking concrete in Templestowe is realised. The officers have proposed carving out a substantial portion of the Templestowe Leisure Centre site for real open space - not concrete netball courts - and this was approved 4-3 at the September council meeting.

Bizarrely, deputy mayor Jennifer Yang voted in favour of selling off part of the netball courts yet the mayor's great mate Graeme "save the concrete courts" Wallace is running as a supportive candidate for her in the Koonung ward.

And then I open a flyer distributed to Heide ward voters by Mayor Gough this week and discover the following testimonials:

"Geoff has shown outstanding leadership in difficult times. He has always placed the welfare of our community ahead of (the) destructive agenda of others." - Jennifer Yang, deputy mayor

"Geoff is the only Heide Councillor who constantly fights to preserve and improve Manningham's open space. Geoff stood against the plan to sell public open space and netball courts in Templestowe Village to developer interests." - Graeme Wallace AOM, Community member of the open space committee.

So why is mayor Gough running a testimonial from a councillor who supported the evil Templestowe Village Structure Plan and why is Graeme "save the netball courts" Wallace preferencing Jennifer "sell the netball courts" Yang 1st in Koonung ward? The answer is that it was all set-up by Geoff "I never play political games" Gough.

And don't forget that Goughie was the only councillor who wanted to flog off valuable land adjacent to the Dog Activity Centre in Donvale. He also voted to sell land classified as public open space in Herlihys Rd, Lower Templestowe. But now he's the only saviour of public open space who never plays political games. What rot.

Much of this may be questionable but, in my mind, the worst thing the mayor has done during this campaign is preference Clive Pick higher than our Heide ward colleague Grace Lavella.

Clive's son Charles Pick was the ring leader of the Gang of Five during his two years as Manningham mayor in 2009 and 2010. Geoff, in his usual self-interested way, did a deal straight after the last election whereby Charles and he were both running for mayor and both agreed each would vote for the other if not successful.

Geoff is a long-time Liberal member who has failed in four preselection contests, so it surprised me as an incoming first time councillor and former Liberal staffer that he was supporting a young Labor turk for mayor. It was on Geoff's say so that I voted for Charles Pick in December 2008 delivering him the swing vote to defeat Green David Ellis.

Charles Pick's mayoralty ended up as a complete disaster because he walked away from Geoff Gough and put together a formal ruling faction with the three most destructive elements on council: Meg Downie, Ivan Reid and Graeme Macmillan. I'm still waiting for Charles Pick's promised public admission that this alliance was a mistake. And when is Geoff ever going to criticise the Machiavellian Charles Pick who these days makes a living as a lobbyist for developers.

Geoff Gough, David Ellis, Grace Lavella and I spent two years in hell trying to break down the Gang of Five's highly negative and chaotic agenda. Geoff played good cop and I played bad cop and all the way we agreed that the Pick family were bad news. If you need any more on this, check out my 3300 word resignation letter from August.

Lo and behold, 70-something former councillor Clive Pick pops up as a candidate in the Heide ward and he's delivering his first preference to Geoff Gough, with our respected ward colleague Cr Grace Lavella right down the bottom.

Geoff has reciprocated by preferencing Clive Pick ahead of Grace Lavella. After all we've been through, this is an appalling decision. A lot of sensible people are just shaking their heads.

Grace Lavella is a good, honest, effective councillor who doesn't deserve this treatment. She would also make a good mayor in the next council.

Therefore, I've voted for Grace Lavella in Heide and encourage the 4205 residents who voted for me last time to do likewise. It seems that the Gough-Pick forces have colluded to try and tip Cr Lavella out and this should be strongly resisted.

If any of the thousands of families associated with basketball and the Bulleen Boomers are reading this, you are better off voting for Cr Grace Lavella in the Heide ward as she is absolutely committed to delivering better facilities for the Bulleen Boomers and basketball more generally and she is not playing silly political games around these issues like the mayor.

If you'd like to forward this material to other people in Manningham, click here to get the URL of the full edition.

Woolworths pokies EGM a tricky issue for all concerned

Get-Up! emailed the following to its huge data yesterday:

Dear friend,

From Monday, Woolworths will mail out notice for their extraordinary general meeting (EGM) and annual general meeting (AGM). Can you let us know whether you are able to attend the meeting in person or would like to proxy to another GetUp member to attend and vote in your place?

Imagine at the EGM and AGM, a sea of GetUp members filling up the floor at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Speaker after speaker asking pointed questions of Woolworths management or telling their own moving stories about the impact of gambling addiction. And when the vote is cast, we win the room with ordinary shareholders overwhelmingly supporting the GetUp motion putting Woolworths and their competitors on notice that the community won't put up without he harm caused by poker machines any longer. We need you to attend or proxy for the meetings to help make this happen.

GetUp shareholder activists have made this possible by forcing the company to hold an EGM to consider a GetUp motion that would limit Woolworths machines to $1 a bet or losses to $120 an hour on a single machine. That would make Woolworths machines the safest in Australia and help to protect addicted problem gamblers. Now we've got to get organised to make a big impact at the meetings and push for safer poker machines.

Please RSVP here to let us know if you can attend or proxy for the Woolworths EGM & AGM:

The Woolworths EGM & AGM will take place on 22 November 2012 in Adelaide. If you are in Adelaide or able to get to Adelaide on the day please we'd like to invite you to be a part of the GetUp contingent inside the meeting.

If you aren't able to make it to Adelaide for the meeting, we can help you give your proxy to another GetUp member who can attend the meetings and vote in your place. If you are willing to proxy we'll make sure that another GetUp member attends in your place to ask a question, tell a personal story about the impact that poker machine gambling has had on them or simply vote in favour of the motion on your behalf.

I'm so inspired by the bravery and passion of GetUp members who are willing to take on one of Australia's corporate giants to make poker machines safer and protect some of the most vulnerable in our community. I hope you can be a part of the GetUp presence at the Woolworths EGM & AGM in November.

Thanks for all that you do,
Carl, for the GetUp team.

P.S - Just yesterday we met with fund managers from Australian Ethical Investments. They told us that they are using their advocacy fund to support the GetUp shareholders motion. That makes them the first major investor to commit to supporting the motion!


I've only just read Get-Up's S249P statement in full for the first time. It has been cleverly framed, so the Woolworths response will be fascinating.

Woolies will need to fully explain the financial impact of GetUp's proposed move to $1 maximum bets by 2016 so that all stakeholders can make a fully informed decision.

The ASA, retail shareholders more generally, the proxy advisers and Australia's institutional investors have never had to make a decision like this one before.

Given my past involvement in the pokies campaign against Woolworths, the final decision on ASA's position will be up to others.

Missing another round with Rupert

Rupert Murdoch tweeted that he's expecting a quieter AGM this year. That's partly because his two strongest critics from last year, Tom Watson and yours truly, will both be no shows.

It is not too late to appoint a proxy if anyone out there has a friend in LA who is available to spent 3 hours at Fox Studios on Tuesday morning LA time. If not, set the alarm for 4am Wednesday morning to listen to the webcast.

It has been a very long night finishing this missive off, but one of the next priorities is completing ASA's Voting Intentions for the News Corp AGM. This will be discussed during a live interview with Ticky Fullerton on The Business on Tuesday night at about 8.45pm, which is replayed after Lateline at about 11.15pm on ABC1.

Meanwhile, from the archive, here are some video highlights of our 11 rounds with Rupert Murdoch

Chief Executive Women announces appointment of Julie White as CEO

ASA is hoping to get QBE Insurance chair Belinda Hutchinson to be on a "chair's panel" at our big conference in Sydney next May. It was very pleasing to see Belinda has helped attract some resources to further beef up the campaign for more women in the boardrooms of Australia. Here's the press release which went out last month:

The President of Chief Executive Women (CEW) Belinda Hutchinson, AM today announced that the CEW Council has appointed Julie White as CEW's inaugural Chief Executive Officer.

Belinda Hutchinson said, “CEW has now grown to over 240 members around Australia. Over the last two years we have increased our external engagement promoting our vision of greater representation of women in senior leadership roles and the time is now right for us to appoint a CEO to deliver on our vision and implement our strategy.”

Julie White is a CEW member who has over 30 years experience working across professional services, not for profit, corporate and municipal roles. Julie was formerly the Global Head of the Macquarie Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Macquarie Group, and during her 12 years she over saw its growth to one of the largest foundations in Australia, contributing over $20 million per annum to thousands of community organisations around the world.

Julie has a range of non-executive roles including Chair of the Coca Cola Australia Foundation, Chair of DanaAsia, board member of Social Enterprise Finance Australia, Inspire Foundation and Women's Community Shelters.

Belinda Hutchinson said, “CEW is delighted that Julie has accepted the role of CEO of CEW. She is a proven, innovative and passionate leader that will be working in aflexible and part-time capacity for our organisation. CEW is fully supportive of flexible working arrangements for senior leadership roles."

Commenting on her appointment, Julie White said " I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead this important organisation. CEW has a committed and energetic membership who, since it's formation in 1985 has championed, supported and paved the way for women leaders in this country. I am looking forward to working with the members of CEW in continuing to encourage the growth of the number of senior women in business, government and the not for profit sector and to developing pathways, mentoring support and opportunities for future women leaders."

Sign up for campaign and governance Tweets

Click on the image above to join more than 12,300 followers on Twitter. We will continue regularly dropping out observations about the AGM season, ASA and a bit of political and media stuff over the weeks ahead. Here are some of the more recent Tweets:

Oct 12
B*gger. $70 parking fine for the council candidate from City of Melbourne during pre-record of Inside Business with Kohler for Sunday.

shocking attitude ": Busy preparing for AGM. Signs pretty peaceful, but those with complaints should take profits and sell!"

After Hastie, Paperlinx & Toll rem issues, ASA is recommending against Tatts chair Harry Boon. See John Curry's report:

ASA writes to Fortescue expressing concern about having 2nd tier auditor. Lo and behold, yesterday's notice of meeting proposes PwC. Bingo!

ASA monitor quizzed Bruce Teele at the Amcil meeting about why Stan Wallis is still hanging around as a director. He may retire next year.

Oct 11
Only 117 registered with Link for Brambles AGM today. Tilburn wrecked it as usual, but board thanked ASA's Mary Curran for good engagement.

Just published ASA Voting Intentions 4 Ramsay HealthCare. Great performance, but all blokes board needs new indie director, plus pay reform

Two ASA monitors had a detailed briefing with the Cochlear chair and CFO today. There is an issue with the proposed options grant to CEO.

ASA monitor Mary Curran has just run the Brambles AGM through these reasons why we oppose the remuneration report:

Self-indulgent AGM menace Jack Tilburn is now up for the 5th time at Brambles AGM in Sydney. Lots of confected aggression and nit-picking.

Oct 10
Team Doyle's Green bashing is completely duplicitous. The LM spent 4yrs implementing Green policies pushed by Cathy Oke ie $5m on bike paths

Michael Kroger's support of Doyle and attack on Greens in Herald Sun today ignores the fact Doyle has greenie Arron Wood on council ticket.

AFR claims all 3 proxy advisory firms support Stockland rem report. See John Balmain's ASA work for different view:

Good to see AFR ran ASA letter today calling for QR National to launch a $300m retail offer after UBS arranged $500m insto placement.

That's all for now.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

* The Mayne Report is a multi-media governance website published by Stephen Mayne with occasional email editions. To unsubscribe from the emails click here. This material was authorised by Paula Piccinini C/- 205 William St, Melbourne 3000.