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Thursday, 23 August 2012
Page: 6235

Senator CORMANN (Western Australia) (12:51): The coalition does not oppose the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Financial Reporting Panel) Bill 2012. Through this bill the government seeks to abolish the Financial Reporting Panel. The Financial Reporting Panel was established in 2006 to resolve disputes between ASIC and companies over accounting standards and financial reporting. We are advised that only five cases have been referred to the panel since its inception and none since August 2010.

Relevant stakeholders, including the main accounting bodies, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and accounting firms, support the retention of this panel; however, the lack of referrals to the panel makes the cost associated with its continuing existence hard to justify. However, if at a future time a need for a similar body does raise its head again, the coalition in government would of course reconsider an appropriate way forward. But, at this point in time, on the basis of the advice we have received about the lack of activity by this particular panel, we do not oppose this bill.