UPDATE: Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019 passed by Parliament
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing) Bill 2019 was passed by the Senate, with amendments for a 5-year review of the effectiveness of the changes moved by Labor and accepted by the Government. Additional amendments proposed by the Greens were defeated.
During the Senate debate there were regrettable comments from Senator Roberts of One Nation attacking liquidators who are, in fact, the front line in identifying phoenixing and holding dodgy directors to account.
We also remain concerned about risks around the Constitutionality of some sections contained in the bill, as highlighted by the Australian Law Reform Commission (in its recent discussion paper on Corporate Criminal Responsibility) and the Law Council of Australia. ARITA has prepared a submission in response to the ALRC discussion paper.
However, while the approach taken in the bill was not our favoured avenue, we welcome the law reform as an improvement to the regime to try to reduce dodgy phoenixing.
As the bill was amended by the Senate, it was returned to the House of Representatives and the amendment providing for a 5 year review was agreed to. Further information about the status of the bill is available on the Parliament website .
We also note the Government’s commitment to delivering the Director Identity Number regime and we look forward to seeing this implemented in the near future. A suite of bills which set the infrastructure for the DIN regime remain before the Parliament.
As members will be aware, ARITA has been heavily involved in the policy advocacy and consultation processes leading up to the debate on this bill and also the DIN regime.