An Exposure Draft of the primary amendments to be included in the Insolvency Law Reform Bill 2013 have been released for public comment by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and the Attorney-General. This Bill implements reforms previously released in the proposals paper, A modernisation and harmonisation of the regulatory framework applying to insolvency practitioners in Australia (December 2011), and introduces significant changes to the Bankruptcy Act 1966, Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001.
According to the Explanatory Material, the proposed amendments are designed to:
- align and modernise the registration and disciplinary frameworks that apply to registered liquidators and registered trustees;
- align and modernise a range of specific rules relating to the handling of personal bankruptcies and corporate external administrations; and
- improve the powers available to the corporate regulator to regulate the corporate insolvency market and the ability for both regulators to communicate in relation to insolvency practitioners operating in both the personal and corporate insolvency markets.
The main amendments in the Bill create a new Schedule 2 – Insolvency Practice Rules to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and the Corporations Act 2001. This new Schedule 2 substantially aligns the registration process for registered liquidators and registered trustees. The newly aligned registration process which is based upon the existing Bankruptcy Act 1966 provisions, will replace the current systems for registration of liquidators and registered trustees.
To view the draft Bill and Explanatory Material, go to the Treasury website (http://www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Submissions/2012/Insolvency-Law-Reform-Bill).
|Friday, 8 March 2013||Closing date for submissions|
|March onwards||A second tranche of the Bill is expected to be released shortly setting out further consequential amendments to the corporate and personal insolvency legislation as a result of these reforms, along with transitional measures. Draft regulations will also be released shortly for public consultation.|
|September 2013||If the Bill is passed during the 2012/13 financial year, the majority of the amendments are expected to commence in September 2013.|
|February 2014||The amendments to the processes regarding the registration and discipline of insolvency practitioners are not expected to commence until February 2014.|
|February 2014||The new director disqualification provisions are also not expected to commence until February 2014.|
For more information on these changes and to remain up to date on the progress of the Insolvency Law Reform Bill, please see your subscription of the following products on Westlaw AU, or, for new subscribers, visit the Thomson Reuters’ estore:
- Company Receivers and Administrators (http://www.thomsonreuters.com.au/company-receivers-and-administrators-online/productdetail/56400);
- Australian Bankruptcy Law & Practice (http://www.thomsonreuters.com.au/australian-bankruptcy-law-practice-online/productdetail/50800);
- McPherson’s Law of Company Liquidation (http://www.thomsonreuters.com.au/mcphersons-law-of-company-liquidation-online/productdetail/72271); and
- Robson’s Annotated Corporations Legislation (http://www.thomsonreuters.com.au/robsons-annotated-corporations-legislation-online/productdetail/97690).