ANNO VICESIMO PRIMO. Nor 33 of 1972

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1 334 ANNO VICESIMO PRIMO ELIZABETHAE SECUNDAE REGINAE Nor 33 of 1972 An Act to regulate the extent of shareholdings in bodies corporate that are gas suppliers and the voting rightc of shareholders therein and to regulate the actions of the governing bodies of such bodies corporate [ASSENTED To 21ST DECEMBER, 19721, BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-- PAR'I' I-PRELIMINARY 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act Comr.IEncen ent. (1) This Act shall come into operation on a date to be appoin Led by Proclamation.

2 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings ) Act 1972, No (2) A Proclamation made for the purpose of subsection (1) may appoint a date prior to the date of its publication or to the date of passing of this Act whereupon this Act shall be deemed to have been in operation on and from that date and shall have retrospective operation accordingly. 3. Application of Act. (1) This Act shall not apply to any body corporate that is a gas supplier save one- (a) that supplies gas by means of a gas undertaking; and (b) that is declared by Proclamation to be a gas supplier to whom this Act applies. (2) A Proclamation made for the purpose of subsection (1) may appoint a date on and from which this Act is to apply to the gas supplier specified therein and may appoint such a date prior to the date of its publication or to the date of passing of this Act whereupon, in either case, this Act shall be deemed to have applied to the gas supplier specified therein on and from that date and shall have retrospective application accordingly. (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) and the terms of any Proclamation made under This section- (a) in the application of Part ii to any person whose interest in a voting share or shares of a gas supplier to which this Act applies would, but for this provision, constitute a contravention of section 10 an interest in such share or shares that has been continuously held by him since a date prior to 20th December, 1971, shall be disregarded to the extent that the nominal value of the share or shares in question exceeds the maximum value permitted by section 10; (b) Part III shall not prejudice the voting rights of any person attaching to an interest in a voting share of a gas supplier to which this Act applies continuously held by him since a date prior to 20th December, Single Proclamation for ss. 2 and 3. It is competent to the Governor to make a single Proclamation for the purposes of both sections 2 and Arrangement of Act. This Act is divided into Parts, as follows:- PART I-PRELIMINARY (SS. 1-9); PART II--LIMITATION OF SHAREHOLDINGS IN GAS SUPPLIERS (ss ); PART III--LIMITATION OF VOTING RIGHTS (SS ); PART IV-REGULATION OF GOVERNING BODIES (SS ); PART V--MISCELLANEOUS (ss ). 6. Interpretation. (1) in this Act, unless a contrary intention appearscorporation " includes an association, a partnership or other organization, whether incorporated or not, but does not include- (a) a body corporate that is incorporated within the Commonwealth and is a public authority or an instrumentality or agency of the Crown; or

3 336 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No. 33 (b) a corporation sole; or (c) a trustee company within the meaning of the Trustee Companies Act 1968; " director " in relation to a gas supplier, includes a member of the governing body (by whatever name called) of the gas supplier; " gas supplier " means a body corporate that is supplying gas in Queensland through a gas undertaking; " gas undertaking " means the business of supplying' or of producing and supplying gas through mains to consumers; " Minister " means the Minister for Mines and Main Roads or other Minister of the Crown charged, at the material time, with the administration of this Act and includes any person who for the time being performs the functions of the Minister as so defined; " Supreme Court " includes any Judge of the Supreme Court; " voting share " means in relation to a gas supplier, an issued share in the capital of that gas supplier, not being- (a) g share to which there is not attached in any circumstances a right to vote; or (b) a share to which there is attached a right to vote only in one or more of the following circumstances:- (i) during a period during which a dividend or part of a dividend in respect of the share is in arrear; (ii) upon a proposal to reduce the share capital of the gas supplier; (iii) upon a proposal that affects rights attached to the share; (iv) upon a proposal to wind up the gas supplier; (v) upon a proposal for the disposal of the whole of the gas undertaking of the gas supplier and the property used therein ; (vi) during the winding up of the gas supplier. (2) In this Act- (a) a reference to a share in a gas supplier shall be construed as a reference to a share in the capital of the gas supplier; (b) a reference to a share in a gas supplier shall be construed as including a reference to stock into which a share in the capital of the gas supplier has been converted. 7. Stock deemed to be shares. Where the whole or a part of the share capital of a gas supplier consists of stock, an interest of a person in any such stock shall be deemed to be, for the purposes of this Act, an interest in an issued share of that gas supplier having the same nominal value as the amount of the stock in which the interest is held and having attached to it the same rights as are attached to that stock. 8. Interests in shares. (1) The following subsections have effect for the purposes of this Act. (2) Where property subject to a trust consists of or includes shares in a gas supplier and a person knows or has reasonable grounds for believing- (a) that he has an interest under the trust; and (b) that the property subject to the trust consists of or includes those shares, he shall be deemed to have an interest in those shares.

4 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No (3) Where a body corporate has an interest in a share and- (a) the body corporate is, or its directors are accustomed, or under an obligation, whether formal or informal, to act in accordance with the directions, instructions or wishes of a person in relation to that share; (b) a person has a controlling interest in the body corporate; or (c) a person is, the associates of a person are, or a person and his associates are entitled to exercise or control the exercise of not less than 15 per centum of the votes attached to the voting shares in the body corporate, that person shall be deemed to have an interest in that share. (4) For the purposes of paragraph (c) of subsection (3) a person is an associate of another person- (a) if the first-mentioned person is- (i) a person in accordance with whose directions, instructions or wishes that other person is accustomed, or under an obligation, whether formal or informal, to act in relation to the share referred to in that subsection; or (ii) a person who is accustomed, or under an obligation, whether formal or informal, to act in accordance with the directions, instructions or wishes of that other person in relation to the share referred to in that subsection; or (iii) a body corporate that is, or the directors of which are accustomed, or under an obligation, whether formal or informal, to act in accordance with the directions, instructions or wishes of that other person in relation to the share referred to in that subsection; or (iv) a body corporate in accordance with the directions, instructions or wishes of which, or of the directors of which, that other person is accustomed, or under an obligation, whether formal or informal, to act in relation to the share referred to in that subsection; or (v) a body corporate that, by virtue of subsection (5) of section 6 of the Companies Act or of the corresponding provisions of the law of another State or of a Territory of the Commonwealth, is to be deemed a corporation that is related to that other person; or (b) if- (i) the first-mentioned person is a corporation and that other person is an officer of that corporation; or (ii) the first-mentioned person is a partner of that other person; or (iii) the first-mentioned person and that other person are members of a voting trust and the trust relates to shares in the gas supplier concerned. (5) Where a person- (a) has entered into a contract to purchase a share; or (b) has a right to have a share transferred to himself or to his order, whether the right is exercisable presently or in the future and whether on the fulfilment of a condition or not; or (c) has a right to acquire a share, or an interest in a share under an option, whether the right is exercisable presently or in the future and whether on the fulfilment of a condition or not; or

5 338 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act' 1972, No. 33 (d) is entitled (otherwise than by reason of his having been appointed a proxy or representative to vote at a meeting of members of a corporation or of a class of its members) to exercise or control the exercise of a right attached to a share, not being a share of which he is the registered holder, that person shall be deemed to have an interest in that share. (6) A person shall not be deemed not to have an interest in a share by reason only that he has the interest in the share jointly with another person. (7) It is immaterial, for the purpose of determining whether a person has an interest in a share, that the interest cannot be related to a particular share. (8) There shall be disregarded- (a) an interest in a share if the interest is that of a person who holds the share as a bare trustee; (b) an interest in a share of a person whose ordinary business includes the lending of money if he has the interest only by way of security for the purposes of a transaction entered into in the ordinary course of business in connexion with the lending of money; (c) an interest of a person in a share that is an interest that he has by reason of his holding a prescribed oi`ice; and (d) a prescribed interest in a share that is an interest of such person, or of persons included in such class of persons, as is prescribed. (9) An interest in a share shall not be disregarded by reason only of- (a) its remoteness; or (b) the manner in which it arose; or (c) the fact that the exercise of a right conferred by the interest is, or is capable of being made, subject to restraint or restricton. 9. Associated shareholders. (1) The following subsections have effect for the purposes of this Act. (2) Where a person_ is to be deemed to be an associate of another person, in accordance with subsection (3) or (4), the first-mentioned person shall be deemed to have an interest in any share in which that other person has an interest. (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a person shall be deemed to be an associate of another person- (a) if the first-mentioned person is- (i) a person in accordance with whose directions, instructions or wishes that other person is accustomed, or under an obligation, whether formal or informal, to act in relation to the share referred to in that subsection; or (ii) a partner of that other person; or (iii) a corporation and that ether person is an officer of that corporation; or (iv) a corporation and that other person, whether a corporation or not, is in a position to control that corporation; or (v) a corporation, and that other person is also a corporation, and a person, whether a corporation or not, is in a position to control each of those corporations; or

6 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No (b) if the first-mentioned person and that other person are members of a voting trust and the trust relates io shares of the gas supplier concerned. (4) Where, by reason of subsection (3), a person is to be deemed to be an associate of another person, that other person shall, for the purposes of subsection (2), be deemed to be an associate of the first-mentioned person. PART II--L,IIviITATION OF SHAREHOLDINGS IN GAS SUPPLIERS 10. Restricted shareholdings. A person shall not have an interest in one or more voting shares in a gas supplier to which this Act applies unless the nominal value of that share or the aggregate of the nominal value of those shares, as the case may be, is not in excess of 12.5 per centurn of the aggregate of the nominal value of all the voting shares in the gas supplier. Penalty: $20G for each day during which the contravention subsists. 11. Power of court with respect to shareholdings. (1) Where a person (in this section and in section 12 referred to as " t(ra shareholder ") has contravened section 10 the Supreme Court may, on the application of the person who, at the material time, holds the appointment chief gas examiner under the Gas Act , whether or not other proceedings have been commenced in respect of the contravention, make one or more of the following orders:- (a) an order restraining the exercise of any voting or other right attached to any share in the gas supplier concerned in which the shareholder has an interest; (b) an order directing the gas supplier concerned not to make payment, or to defer payment, of any sum due from the gas supplier in respect of any share in the gas supplier in which the shareholder has an interest; (c) an order directing the sale of all or any of the shares in the gas supplier concerned it. which the shareholder has an interest in. contravention of section 10; (d) an order that any exercise of the voting or other rights attached to the shares (specified in the order) in the gas supplier concerned in which the shareholder has or had an interest be disregarded; (e) for the purpose of securing compliance with any other order made under this section, an order directing the gas supplier concerned or any other person to do or refrain from doing an act specified in the order. (2) An order made under subsection (1) may include such ancillary or consequential provisions as the court thinks just. (3) The court shall not make an order under subsection (1), other than an order restraining the exercise of voting rights, if it is satisfied- (a) that the contravention by the shareholder of section 10 was due to his inadvertence or mistake or to his not being aware of a fact or occurrence the existence of which was necessary to constitute that contravention; and (b) that, in all the circumstances, the failure ought to be excused. (4) The Supreme Court may, by its order, rescind, vary or discharge an order made under subsection (1) or suspend the operation of such an order.

7 340 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No Order as to costs of discontinued application. Where an application made under section 11 is not proceeded with by reason of the discontinuance of the contravention to which it relates the Supreme Court may, on the further application of the applicant, order that the shareholder pay the applicant's costs of the application and the further application. 13. Compliance with orders made. (1) A person shall not contravene or fail to comply with an order made under section 11 of 12 that is applicable to him. Penalty: $1,000. (2) The provisions of subsection (1) or any action taken thereunder does not affect the powers of the Supreme Court in relation to the punishment of contempts of the court. PART III-LIMITATION OF VOTING RIGHTS 14. Voting rights restricted. It is not competent to a person who is entitled to exercise, in relation to the affairs of a gas supplier to which this Act applies, a right to vote that attaches to an interest in a voting share in the gas supplier, held by himself or by another, to exercise or to authorize or permit the exercise of that right to the extent that his voting rights-- (a) where the right to vote is one that attaches to voting shares generally in the gas supplier, exceed in the aggregate five per centum of the voting rights that attach to all the voting shares in the gas supplier; (b) where the right to vote is one that attaches to voting shares of a particular class in the gas supplier, exceed in the aggregate five per centum of the voting rights that attach to all the voting shares of that class in the gas supplier. 15. Incompetent voting to be disregarded. A vote of any person in relation to the affairs of a gas supplier to which this Act applies shall be disregarded to the extent that it is incompetent by reason of section 14 or in so far as it is cast pursuant to a purported authority or permission that is incompetent by reason of that section. A director, servant, or agent of a gas supplier to which this Act applies who fails to comply with the preceding paragraph commits an offence against this Act. 16. Power of court with respect to voting. (1) Where it appears that in the taking of any ballot or election in relation to the affairs of a gas supplier to which this Act applies a failure to comply with section 15 has occurred the Supreme Court may, on the application of the person who, at the material time, holds the appointment chief gas examiner under the Gas Act , whether or not other proceedings have been commenced in respect of the failure, make one or more of the following orders:- (a) an order restraining the exercise of voting rights attached to any voting shares in the gas supplier concerned; (b) an order that any exercise of the voting rights attached to the voting shares (specified in the order) in the gas supplier concerned be disregarded; (c) for the purpose of securing compliance with any other order made under this section, an order directing the gas supplier concerned or any other person to do or refrain from doing an act specified in the order.

8 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No (2) An order made under subsection (1) may include such ancillary or consequential provisions as the court thinks just. (3) The Supreme Court may, by its order, rescind, vary or discharge an order made under subsection (1) or suspend the operation of such an order. 17. Order as to costs of discontinued application. Where an application made under section 16 is not proceeded with by reason that compliance with section 15 has been secured the Supreme Court may, on the further application of the applicant, order that the person who had failed to comply with that section pay the applicant's costs of the application and the further application. 18. Compliance with orders made. (1) A person shall not contravene or fail to comply with an order made under section 16 or 17 that is applicable to him. Penalty: $1,000. (2) The provisions of subsection (1) or any action taken thereunder does not affect the powers of the Supreme Court in relation to the punishment of contempts of the court. PART IV-REGULATION OF GOVERNING BODIES 19. Enquiry into affairs of gas suppliers. (1) Where it appears to the Minister that a gas supplier to which this Act applies is so conducting its business of producing or supplying gas within any area of the State, or is so limiting that business that an enquiry into the affairs of the gas supplier, so far as they relate to that business, should be made under this Part, he may recommend to the Governor in Council that such enquiry be made and that a tribunal be constituted to make that enquiry. (2) Upon receipt of a recommendation referred to in subsection (1) the Governor in Council may, by notification published in the Gazette, appoint the persons who shall comprise the tribunal, and, if the case requires it, may particularize in the notification of appointment the aspects or matters into which the enquiry is to be made. The tribunal shall consist of a chairman who shall be a Judge of the the Supreme Court or, if one such Judge is not available at the material time, a person qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court, and two other members. (3) The function of a tribunal appointed under this section shall be- (a) to enquire into the affairs of the gas supplier concerned so far as those affairs relate to its business of producing or supplying gas within the area in question of the State, or as the case may require, into the aspects of those affairs or the matters particularized in the notification of appointment of the tribunal;

9 342 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No. 33 (b) to report to the Minister its opinions in relation to the affairs of the gas supplier or the aspects thereof or the matters enquired into by the tribunal together with its findings of fact on which its opinions are based. (4) A tribunal appointed under this section shall be deemed to be a Commission of Inquiry under The Commissions of" Inquiry Acts 1950 to 1954 and its members shall he deemed to be Commissioners within the meaning of those Acts the provisions whereof shall apply accordingly. 20. Powers of investigator. For the purpose of assisting an enquiry under this Part the chief gas examiner and any person or persons who assist him therein may- (a) enter upon the premises of the gas supplier whether within or outside the area of the State concerned; (b) inspect, examine and test all works, plant and equipment used by the gas supplier in or in connexion with its business of producing or supplying gas; (c) observe and investigate the conduct of the business of the gas supplier in or in connexion with producing or supplying gas, and the practice in relation thereto of the gas supplier, its servants and agents; (d) call for, examine, impound, copy, and take extracts from the share register of the gas supplier, the minutes of meetings of the board of directors or other governing body (by whatever name called) of the gas supplier, and the books, accounts and records of the gas supplier relevant to its business of producing or supplying gas; (e) audit the books and accounts of the gas supplier relevant to its business of producing or supplying gas, either generally or with respect to a particular part of that business; (f) require any director, servant, or agent of the gas supplier, and any other person who, in the chief gas examiner's opinion, should have information on the matter in question, to furnish information on such matters as, in the opinion of the person seeking the information, are material to the investigation. 21. Hindrance of investigation an offence. (1) A person shall not-- (a) obstruct or hinder the chief gas examiner, or any person assisting him therein in the making of an investigation under this Part; (b) fail to comply with a regr; `; directed to him in connexion with the making of an investigation under this Part. Penalty: $1,000. (2) It is a defence to a charge of an offence that consists of a contravention of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) to show that, at the material time, the defendant had neither the information sought nor means of ascertaining that information.

10 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No Action consequent on investigation. Upon receipt of the report of a tribunal appointed under section 19, if the Minister is satisfied that in the conduct of its business of producing or supplying gas within any area of the State or in limiting the extent of any such business, the gas supplier whose affairs have been enquired into under this Part- (a) does not adequately serve the interests of consumers of gas within that area or the interests of persons resident in that area who are prospective consumers of gas within that area; or (b) does not have sufficient regard for the economic welfare or the development of the State or for the proper use of its natural resources, he may recommend to the Governor in Council that action under section 23 be taken in respect of the gas supplier. 23. Appointment of administrators. (1) On the recommendation of the Minister, the Governor in Council may, by Order in Council, appoint one or more persons (as he thinks fit) to be administrator or administrators of a gas supplier in respect of which an investigation has been made under this Part. (2) Upon the appointment of an administrator or administrators- (a) the appointee or appointees shall be deemed to be the director or directors of the gas supplier concerned in relation to the business of producing and supplying or supplying, as the case may be, gas within the area of the State with which the investigation was concerned, and shall be charged with the management of that business and shall have and he subject to all the powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities accorded or entrusted by the articles of association of the gas supplier and by law to the directors of the gas supplier, save in respect of any liability that may attach to a director arising out of any act done or omission made by the director prior to the date of the appointment; (h) the persons who at the time of the appointment are directors of the gas supplier concerned or who are subsequently to that time duly appointed as such directors shall be deemed, during the continuance of the administration of the gas supplier under this section to be deprived of and to be free of the powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities accorded or entrusted by the articles of association of the gas supplier and by law to such directors in relation to the business of producing and supplying or supplying, as the case may be, gas within the area of the State with which the investigation was concerned, save in respect of any liability that may attach to them or any of them arising out of any act done or omission made by a director prior to the date of the appointment; (c) all servants, agents, and other persons associated with the business of the gas supplier shall accept and act upon the demand of the appointee or appointees in relation to the business of producing and supplying or supplying, as the case may be, gas within the area of the State with which the investigation was concerned as if he or they, as the case may be,

11 344 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No. 33 were duly appointed director or directors of the gas supplier in accordance with the articles of association and rules of the gas supplier; (d) the appointee or appointees shall be entitled to and shall be permitted by all persons the use and management of the funds and assets of the gas supplier available for use in the business of producing and supplying or supplying, as the case may be, gas within the area of the State with which the investigation was concerned; (e) the appointee or appointees shall be entitled to and shall be permitted by all persons entry upon the premises used by the gas supplier in or in connexion with the business in relation to which he is appointed administrator or they are appointed administrators, and shall be entitled to and shall be permitted unrestricted access to and possession of all books of account, documents and records material to that business; (f) a contract or agreement or transaction, made or entered into prior to the date of the appointment, in the conduct of or for the purposes of the business of producing and supplying or supplying, as the case may be, gas within the area of the State with which the investigation was concerned shall not be enforceable against the gas supplier concerned unless it is confirmed and adopted, in writing or by conduct, by the appointee or appointees. (3) An appointment under this section may be made- (a) without limit of time, whereupon an appointee for the time being appointed shall hold office until he is removed by the Governor in Council or until the Order in Council whereby he was appointed is revoked, whichever event first occurs; or (b) to take effect until the expiration of a period specified in the Order in Council, whereupon an appointee for the time being appointed shall hold office until he is removed by the Governor in Council or until the expiration of the period specified, whichever event first occurs. 24. Removal of administrator. The Governor in Council may at any time by Order in Council remove from office an administrator of a gas supplier appointed under section 23 and, if he thinks fit, appoint another or others in his stead. The removal of an administrator shall not affect his liability arising out of any act done or omission made by him prior to the date of his removal. 25. Cessation of administration under s. 23. (1) When at any time during the administration of a gas supplier under section 23 the tenure of office of the administrator (where there is only one) of the gas supplier or of all of the administrators (where there are more than one) of the gas supplier is brought to an end by any means specified in subsection (3) of section 23 and a further administrator is not appointed in his or their stead, the administration shall be taken to be terminated.

12 Gas Suppliers ( Shareholdings) Act 1972, No (2) Upon the termination of an administration of a gas supplier under section 23 the management of the business theretofore under the charge of the administrator or administrators shall revert to the charge of the directors of the gas supplier at that time duly appointed in accordance with the articles of association and rules of the gas supplier and with this Act and such directors shall have and be subject to the powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities accorded or entrusted by the articles of association of the gas supplier and by law to such directors save in respect of any liability that may attach to him arising out of any act done or omission made by an administrator prior to the termination of the administration. (3) When it appears to the administrator or administrators of a gas supplier that the administration under section 23 is about to be terminated and that there are no directors of the gas supplier duly appointed as specified in subsection (2) the administrator or administrators shall cause to be called a general meeting of the members of the gas supplier for the purpose of appointing such directors in accordance with the articles of association and rules of the gas supplier and with this Act. 26. Effect of removal, etc., of administrator. Upon the removal of an administrator for the time being appointed under section 23 or upon the revocation of the Order in Council whereby he was appointed or upon the expiration of the period for which his appointment was made to take effect, whichever event is the first to occur, the administrator shall cease to hold the status of administrator and shall cease to have and to be subject to the powers, authorities, duties, and responsibilities accorded or entrusted by the articles of association of the gas supplier and by law to the directors of the gas supplier, save in respect of any liability that may attach to him arising out of any act done or omission made by him prior to the date of such cessation. PART V-MISCELLANEOUS 27. Contracts, etc., not affected save at the suit of offender. A contract, instrument, dealing or transaction affecting shares of a gas supplier to which this Act applies is unenforceable at the suit of or for the benefit of a person who, by means of such contract, instrument, dealing or transaction, has contravened this Act but otherwise is not unenforceable, voidable or void by reason only that by reason of the contract, instrument, dealing or transaction having been entered into or having occurred, a person has committed a contravention of this Act. 28. Proceedings for offences. (1) A person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act commits an offence against this Act. Save where a penalty is otherwise specifically prescribed a person who commits an offence against this Act is liable to a penalty of $1,000. (2) A prosecution for an offence against this Act shall be by way of summary proceeding under The Justices Acts 1886 to (3) A prosecution for an offence against this Act shall not be brought save with the approval of the Minister first had and obtained. Every court shall take judicial notice of the signature of the Minister to a document that purports to be an approval of a prosecution for an offence against this Act.

13 346 Gas Suppliers (Shareholdings) Act 1972, No Regulations may be made. The Governor in Council may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters that by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed, or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act and in particular prescribing powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities of administrators of a gas supplier and of any one or more of such administrators and matters of procedure material to the conduct by such administrators of their affairs.

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