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Thursday, 3 November 2011
Page: 8126


Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery) (11:54): I table the explanatory memorandum relating to the bill and move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated into Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The Business Names Registration (Application of Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011 supports a package of related bills already passed by the Parliament. The package comprises:

The Business Names Registration Bill 2011;

The Business Names Registration (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011; and

The Business Names Registration (Fees) Bill 2011.

This package of legislation which was passed by the Parliament on 13 October 2011, along with subordinate legislation, will create a National Business Names Registration System.

The Business Names Registration (Application of Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011 will clarify the application of the consequential amendments to other Commonwealth Acts that were included in the Business Names Registration (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011.

The Business Names Registration (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011 has been drafted such that currently both the transitional and most of the consequential amendments commence on the same day, prior to the commencement of the National Business Names Registration System.

However, the policy intention is for most of the consequential amendments to commence on the day that the national system commences. This bill clarifies that consequential amendments to most other Commonwealth Acts will not apply until the National Business Names Registration System commences.

Currently businesses need to register their names in each state and territory in which they trade. The proposed national registration system, to be administered by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), will mean businesses pay one fee to register nationally, using an online application process. Any entity carrying on a business in Australia using a name other than its own will be required to register with ASIC. This will enable the identification of the entity behind a business name.

The Commonwealth has no power to regulate all business names registrations in Australia, therefore the establishment of a national business names registration system and the legislation which underpins it relies on a referral of constitutional powers from the States to the Commonwealth.

The states therefore must enact referral legislation to give effect to the national registration system, and the Commonwealth legislation is drafted in such a way that the national system cannot commence if any State does not refer or adopt the legislation. Two states-Tasmania and New South Wales—have already enacted their referral legislation. Queensland has also passed its referral legislation.

The new national registration system will commence after all States refer business names powers to the Commonwealth, or adopt the Commonwealth legislation. It is envisaged that States will have completed this process by March 2012, and the national registration system will commence by the end of May 2012.

It is important that the Business Names Registration (Application of Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011 is enacted before the end of March 2012, to ensure a smooth transition to the new system can be achieved.

Full details are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

Debate adjourned.