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Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Page: 1089


Mr McCLELLAND (Attorney-General) (9:02 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Personal Property Securities (Corporations and Other Amendments) Bill 2011 is the final set of amendments to the Personal Property Securities Act (PPS Act) and consequential amendments prior to the Personal Property Securities (PPS) regime coming into effect later this year.

The PPS Act, which was passed by the parliament in 2009, created one national law with one set of rules governing interests in property other than land that secure debts or other obligations.

The effect of the PPS Act is to simplify over 70 Commonwealth, state and territory laws, common law and the rules of equity, which govern security interests in personal property. It will also replace the many registers of personal property security interests that complement these state and territory acts, with the one PPS Register.

PPS reform is a significant part of the Council of Australian Government’s deregulation agenda. The reform will deliver major benefits for business and consumers by reducing transaction costs, making lenders more willing to accept different kinds of personal property as security for loans and facilitating the extension of credit to borrowers.

Two sets of amendments to the PPS Act and consequential amendments to the Corporations Act have been passed since the PPS Act was first enacted in 2009. The regime now requires some further amendments to take into account the practical realities of commercial practice, before the reforms take effect in October 2011.

The purpose of the bill is to make amendments which have been raised by stakeholders and practitioners to ensure that all aspects of the regime are appropriate for users and take into account their particular business practices.

The bill makes a number of minor and technical amendments, including:

  • clarifying certain definitions
  • correcting drafting errors
  • inserting operational provisions about the use of the PPS Register
  • clarifying that the intention of the regime is not to interfere with existing rights under the Corporations Act.

The bill will also introduce certain practical measures to ensure that the regime is appropriate for users, including amendments to facilitate consumer access to data held on other databases to confirm whether a motor vehicle is stolen or written off.

The bill also provides an additional method for states that have not yet referred power to the Commonwealth with respect to PPS to be able to ‘adopt’ the relevant version of the PPS Act and refer power to the Commonwealth to make subsequent amendments to the PPS Act.

Conclusion

A comprehensive and consistent national PPS system will benefit many sectors of the Australian economy. These reforms will streamline the way in which lenders conduct their businesses, facilitate the extension of credit to borrowers and reduce borrowing costs. I am pleased that this last set of amendments necessary to effect PPS reform has been prepared so that the regime can take effect in October of this year.

These proposed amendments have been the subject of detailed consultation with stakeholders through the committee process, and I would also like to thank the individuals and organisations who participated in the consultation process. I note that these amendments have also been agreed to by states and territories, through the Ministerial Council for Corporations and the Standing Committee of Attorneys General, in accordance with the Personal Property Securities Inter-Governmental Agreement.

I would conclude by noting the presence of the member for Berowra in the House and I would specifically recognise the work he did as a former Attorney-General on this significant reform. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Andrews) adjourned.