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Tuesday, 22 March 1966

Mr Webb b asked the Attorney-General, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that private companies do not have to file accounts with the registrar in the same detail as public companies?

2.   Can he say whether in recent years many investors, who have paid deposits on houses to companies which have capital as low as £2, have lost money because they have become unsecured creditors?

3.   What action is being taken to strengthen our company laws?

Mr Snedden - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   The company laws within the Ministerial responsibility of the Attorney-General of the Com monwealth, namely, those of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, do not provide for the incorporation of a "private company". Those laws do provide for the incorporation of a proprietary company, which must file accounts unless such a company can be classified as an "exempt proprietary company", that is, a company in which no share is owned by what is deemed to be a public company for the purposes of the section defining such a company.

2.   I have had no reports of any such cases in the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.

3.   The operation of the uniform companies legislation is regularly kept under review by the Standing Committee of Commonwealth and State Attorneys-General. A number of amendments have been agreed upon with the object of strengthening the uniform legislation.

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