Harvey Norman co-founder Gerry Harvey (Image: AAP/Aman Sharma)

When it comes to questionable governance or controversial practices, you can always rely on 81-year-old billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey to deliver the goods. And so it was with yesterday’s first ever online Harvey Norman AGM.

Despite repeated requests, Harvey Norman has refused to
webcast its AGM in previous years and doesn’t even produce a transcript, so
there is no record of what happens besides any media coverage.

And after a decade of protest votes from proxy advisers and independent shareholders, Gerry still hasn’t fixed any of the governance issues -- the board is still dominated by five executive directors, the opaque dealings with franchisees are not consolidated, and the individual valuations of the $3 billion-plus property portfolio are not disclosed.