Still gripped with jetlag after arriving
back from New York yesterday, Crikey was today on a 10.30am flight to
Launceston ahead of tomorrow’s Gunns Ltd AGM for the first public
company board tilt since getting a woeful 12% of the vote at the AMP
AGM in May 2003.

With the departure of Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to the US,
Gunns boss John Gay is the only executive chairman in the ASX 200 who
doesn’t submit himself to the three-yearly annual election cycle, an
exemption that is meant to apply only to chief executives, not those who
double as chairman as well. This is the sole issue I’m running on, and will continue to run on every year until John Gay yields.

It’s good enough for executive chairmen like James Packer, Frank Lowy,
Gerry Harvey and Kerry Stokes to submit themselves to three-yearly
elections, but not our resident Tasmanian cowboy, John Gay.

Gunns have previously locked out the press from shareholder meetings,
something that no other top 200 company does, so it will be interesting
to see if this reprehensible tactic continues.

The Gunns 20, who are tied up in litigation with the company, will no
doubt be out in force at tomorrow’s AGM, as will numerous Greenies.
It will also be interesting to hear what John Gay says about Mark
Latham’s claims that he runs Tasmania, with Paul Lennon unable to scatch
himself without clearing it first with the Gunns boss.

The sagging share price and rumors of a Futuris takeover bid are two
other issues Crikey will be raising, whiel the Greenies will no doubt
be all over the proposed $1 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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