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Final tranche of director liability reform legislation released for public consultation

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Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

Bernie Ripoll

Final Tranche Of Director Liability Reform Legislation Released For Public Consultation

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Bernie Ripoll MP, has today released the third and final tranche of the Commonwealth's Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill 2012 for public comment.

Today's release follows circulation of the first tranche of the Bill for exposure on 27 January 2012, and the second tranche on 1 June 2012, which considered Treasury-portfolio non-tax legislation and the remaining Commonwealth non-tax legislation respectively.

This third tranche consists of amendments to Commonwealth tax legislation.

Mr Ripoll said the Gillard Government was committed to encouraging wealth and job creation in Australia.

"It is important that responsible business growth is not stifled by excessive personal criminal liability being imposed on directors."

"The Government is acting to remove personal criminal liability from directors where it breaches principles of good corporate governance and criminal justice."

"At the same time, we are ensuring there are still appropriate protections and remedies in place for stakeholders in circumstances where directors have encouraged or participated in an offence," Mr Ripoll said.

All Commonwealth legislation has now been assessed against the reform objectives and principles agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), and the changes identified in the three tranches of the draft Bill will bring Commonwealth legislation in line with these principles.

The reforms released for comment today will amend several provisions which apply personal criminal liability for corporate fault in Commonwealth taxation legislation.

The final Bill will represent the Commonwealth's implementation of the COAG directors' liability reform project, which was one of 27 reforms under the National Partnership Agreement to Deliver a Seamless National Economy.

The Gillard Government is committed to introducing the final form of the Bill into Parliament before the end of the year, in line with the COAG milestone.

The final (consolidated) Bill will comprise all proposed amendments to Commonwealth legislation, incorporating the proposed amendments from all three exposure draft tranches.

The third tranche of the Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill 2012 can be found on the Treasury website and submissions close on 3 September 2012.

14 August 2012