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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4021

Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Attorney-General)(4.30) —I move:

That the amendments be agreed to.

These amendments to the Cheques Bill 1985 will enable customers of non-bank financial institutions to issue a new instrument, to be called a payment order, which will be similar to a cheque except that it will be drawn on a customer's account with a non-bank; transfer liability on so-called agency cheques from non-banks to their customers and protect non-bank customers who use these agency cheques; extend the protection afforded banks collecting cheques to non-banks performing that function and impose a duty on non-banks to ensure prompt presentment of cheques lodged with them for collection on behalf of their customers; and clarify some provisions presently contained in the Cheques Bill.

The overall effect of the amendments will be to place non-banks and their customers, whether using agency cheques or payment orders, in a similar position to banks and their customers who use `ordinary' cheques. It is expected that the legislation will come into operation on 1 July next year. Amendments to the Commonwealth Bank Accounts Debits Tax Administration Act 1982 will be required to be in place by then to ensure that payment orders are treated in the same manner as cheques for taxation purposes. This legislation is expected to be introduced early next year. I commend the amendments to the Committee.