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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1733


Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (12:04): On behalf of the Standing Committee on Economics, I seek leave to make a statement on the Corporations Amendment (Phoenixing and Other Measures) Bill 2012, in discharge of the committee’s requirement to provide an advisory report on the bill, and to present a copy of my statement.

Leave granted.

Ms OWENS: The committee has endorsed the comments of this statement. On 16 February 2012, the Selection Committee referred the Corporations Amendment (Phoenixing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 to the committee. The bill has two main purposes: the first is to grant the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, in order to facilitate payment of employee entitlements, the power to order the winding up of a company that has been abandoned, and the second is to allow petitioning creditors and liquidators to publish notices of certain administration events on a website rather than in the print media or the commission's gazette. The bill also makes other miscellaneous and technical amendments.

The committee considers that the bill comprises uncontroversial measures that will assist in curbing the amoral practice of phoenixing. Indeed, in a briefing issued on 23 January 2012, the law firm Minter Ellison stated:

The … bill contains some reasonable measures for facilitating the protection of workers' entitlements. and these measures are unlikely to affect the position of the majority of directors.

Therefore, the committee has decided not to inquire into the bill and recommends that the House or the Federation Chamber consider the bill forthwith.