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Media is an important avenue for communication with our stakeholders. We work with international, national and local media organisations because we believe it contributes to the transparency and reputation of Wesfarmers. Media commentary and inquiries indicate we are expected to uphold high standards of transparency, integrity, corporate governance and financial and operational performance. The media also expects us to contribute to discussion and debate relating to the economy, business confidence and public policy, predominantly in Australia.

Our engagement with media includes holding media conferences to coincide with financial results announcements each quarter and other major events as appropriate. Our corporate affairs department considers all media inquiries and responds appropriately, guided by what is in the best interests of our company. The Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chairman are also available for other media interviews on request.

Other than financial performance and portfolio management, the main focus of media interest in Wesfarmers this year was leadership succession and transition, following the announcement that Rob Scott will take over from Richard Goyder as Managing Director at our AGM in November 2017. There was also interest in the approach to and quantum of executive remuneration at Wesfarmers.

Other areas of media interest during the year were Wesfarmers' position on various economic and social policy areas including marriage equality, proposed changes to working  visas, payment terms for suppliers, taxation transparency and corporate tax rates, competition law and the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. 

Other topics raised related to industrial relations, including  Fair Work Commission hearings into Coles' Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, rising energy prices and unreliability, business response to the United States’ decision to withdraw support for the Paris Climate Agreement, gambling harm minimisation efforts including a proposed $1 bet limit on poker machines in Spirit Hotels, and Wesfarmers’ position on phasing out single-use plastic bags