6 questions submitted at 2024 G8 Education AGM

May 7, 2024

Below is the text of the 6 questions submitted at the 2024 G8 Education hybrid AGM held in Brisbane on May 7, along with a summary of the answers and some video links via Twitter. The only protest vote was 10.7% against the rem report.

Q1. Could new CEO Pejman Okhovat please comment on how his retail background is relevant to the child care industry and describe how this incentive package is different in structure from those he has had at other companies. How important is the care of children in this package, as opposed to profit? Could the rem committee chair also comment.

Answer: The chair, who also hails from Woolworths, said the CEO was doing a great job. See video of exchange via Twitter, plus this subsequent contribution from the rem committee chair.

Q2. Could Toni and the chair please comment on what impact, if any, the current unfolding disasters at Star Entertainment will have on this board and its composition. What is the background on how G8 and Star ended up with 2 common directors in Toni and David Foster? Did David recruit Toni to Star having served with her here?

Answer: Toni Thornton gave a great pre-debate speech about her personal experience as a childcare sector operator and later clarified that she was put up for the Star Entertainment board last October via audit firm connections rather than through knowing former G8 and Star chair David Foster from their time on this board together. See video of exchange via Twitter.

Q3. Could Magaret please comment on whether the G8 directors who are not currently serving on the Star Entertainment board have met yet to discuss whether the headline grabbing revelations coming out of the Bell inquiry are serious enough to potentially impact board composition at our company?

Answer: this was asked in general business, rather than when Magaret was up for election but at least the chair gave her the call and she delivered a standard endorsement of all directors.

Q4. The chair succession announcement in September last year contemplated our former chair David Foster staying on the board until the end of today's AGM, at the latest. Why have we stuck with the latest possible retirement date given the revelations at the Bell inquiry and Mr Foster's heavy commitment as executive chair of Star for a brief period earlier this year and his current ongoing role as acting CEO in the middle of a regulatory firestorm. Shouldn't he have retired earlier?

Answer: The chair was overly effusive in the circumstances and declared "I don't think we need to talk to Star today, at all". See video of exchange via Twitter.

Q5. What impact does the recent class action settlement have on the CEO's LTI programs, if any. Also please clarify the total pre-tax cost to shareholders. The March 25 settlement announcement talked about a $46.5 million settlement, a $24.5m after tax cash cost and no impact on the 2024 net profit, thanks to earlier provisions. When did we raise provisions and for how much and precisely how much did insurers contribute to the settlement? How much did it cost Federal taxpayers as well, courtesy of it being deductible?

Answer: See video of exchange via Twitter.

Q6. I'm a Cr at City of Manningham in Melbourne's eastern suburbs which owns 25 sessional kinder sites which are leased out on peppercorn rents to not for profits or parent committees. Most of our building are more than 40 years old and sub-scale with just 1 room. Meanwhile, large private childcare competitors with kindergarten programs have been popping up all over Manningham. How should council landlords work with private operators like G8 and, across Australia, are councils getting out of early learning infrastructure?

Answer: The CEO didn't quite get the question and instead gave a "we're fully compliant with all governments" answer. Was looking for something like: councils are getting out of the space but we'd love to help them manage their centres. See video of exchange via Twitter.

There was also one online question about the sale of 31 loss-making centres announced last year, which generated this interesting exchange about why 6 centres have been withdrawn from the deal. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.