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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12633


Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (16:23): I rise to speak on the Personal Property Securities Amendment (Registration Commencement) Bill 2011. This bill seeks to extend the commencement date of the personal property securities regime beyond that specified in the principal act due to technical issues with the online registration system. As explained in the Bills Digest, the purpose of the Personal Property Securities Act was to establish a register of personal property securities in place of separate registers tracking whether or not there is a mortgage, a loan or other financial impediments over assets. The original Personal Property Securities Act established rules governing the priority of competing security interests by references to the Personal Property Securities Register.

The Bills Digest notes that the intermediary provisions in the Personal Property Securities Act, which received royal assent on 14 December 2009, consist of two main concepts: migration time and registration commencement time. Migration time is the period during which data from the current state, territory and Commonwealth registers recording security interests in personal property is to be transferred to the Personal Property Securities Register. Under existing subsection 306(6), a determination of an earlier time is a legislative instrument; however, section 42—disallowance—of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 is not applicable to the determination.

As the Personal Property Securities Act is currently drafted, the migration time is required to start no later than 1 January 2012. The Personal Property Securities Act does not allow for the minister to determine any later time. The registration commencement time is from the start of the month—that is, 26 months after royal assent to the bill—or an earlier time chosen by the minister. The registration commencement time, which was established in the transitional provisions, will be the day that the Personal Property Securities Register begins operation.

The bill seeks to extend the commencement date of the personal property securities regime beyond that specified in the principal act because of technical issues with the online registration system. When the Personal Property Securities Bill was introduced, the explanatory memorandum accompanying the bill indicated that it was expected that the Personal Property Securities Register would be operational before 1 February 2012. On 3 May this still appeared to be the case when the Attorney-General announced that he anticipated the national register would operate from October 2011. This is no longer the case, hence the need for this bill, which will amend the Personal Property Securities Act to allow the minister to provide for a later commencement date.

Systems testing by industry volunteers such as the National Australia Bank and GE Capital have disclosed that there are unresolved problems with the operation of the computerised register. The need for an extended commencement time is not explained in the explanatory memorandum and, sadly, that is symptomatic of a Labor government which consistently fails to deliver on its promises. The coalition believes that the explanation should be made public to a Senate committee. My colleague and friend the member for Macarthur will speak in more detail on how the proposed changes in the legislation will affect a hire company in his electorate.

In summary, the personal property securities legislation will rationalise the current Commonwealth state and territory laws on securities in personal properties. It will create one set of national rules and one single national online register. The coalition supports the passage of this bill through the House and reserves the right to move amendments subject to the recommendations of the Senate committee.