Anti-Phoenix Bill passes House of Reps

The Anti-Phoenixing Bill has just passed the House of Reps.

While we don’t think this legislation was in the most ideal form, we welcome any tools to help arrest this insidious trend. We congratulate Minister Sukkar for bringing the legislation back and hope to see the Senate’s support to making it law rapidly.

Labor amendments to incorporate the director identity number (DIN) were defeated on party lines. We’ve been the prime advocates for the DIN, first mooted by Prof Helen Anderson, since we adopted it as policy in 2014, and arising from that, with the Productivity Commission recommending it in 2015.

We understand why the Government wishes to have DINs as part of the Modernising Business Registers reforms, but we note that legislation has not been reintroduced or funded. We urge the Government to address this as soon as possible.

We also note that this is another justification for our Financial Recovery Law Reform Commission. Again, a 'root and branch' review of our regime would bring all of these elements together to provide a simplified, effective and efficient insolvency and rescue regime that could help save more businesses and individuals from financial distress.