Home Strategy Court to hear auDA bid to postpone SGM on Thursday

The Federal Court of Australia will hear an application from the au Domain Administration, the organisation that administers the Australian domain namespace, for holding a special general meeting, requested by some members, along with the its annual general meeting.

The application to the court was made on Tuesday, giving similar reasons to those which were advanced by auDA company secretary Hasaka Martin when he wrote to members last Friday, asking them not to support the push for an SGM by a section of the auDA membership.

It seeks orders that the date for calling the SGM be extended to 31 August and the date on which it is held be extended to 28 September.

Those who have asked for the SGM are seeking the ouster of the chief executive Cameron Boardman and three directors – chair Chris Leptos, Suzanne Ewart and Sandra Hook. The main reason for the members' dissatisfaction is a decision made by auDA to change Australian domains from .com.au and similar suffixes to .au.

Additionally, the members have pointed out that auDA has made no business case for the domain change, that communication and transparency are not what they should be, and that good governance is not being practised.

Since the members' application was submitted on 7 April, an SGM would have to be called by 28 April if existing rules are followed.

In asking for members to agree to hold the SGM at the same time as the AGM, Boardman, in an affidavit submitted to the court, cited the same reasons as those advanced by Martin:

  • that auDA needed time to react to a government review which was released on 18 April that found the current management framework was no longer fit for purpose; and
  • that the expense to hold such a meeting would be substantial and best avoided.

Along with the review, the government also released its terms of endorsement for auDA and asked the organisation to provide, within 30 days, an implementation plan to demonstrate how it would achieve compliance with these terms by April 2020.

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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