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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9908


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (19:33): In the spirit of Christmas and of helpfulness, I have actually addressed this particular question before in response to the amendments flagged by Senator Muir.

The government does not support the amendments in relation to grandfathering arrangements. The government does not support the longstanding grandfathering of proprietary companies from complying with certain ASIC reporting requirements which have been considered extensively in the past. The grandfathering of these entities has been a policy that had bipartisan support for decades because, without it, the new disclosure rules at the time would have disrupted commercial activities. The grandfathering of exempted proprietary companies was done to avoid disrupting businesses which would have established themselves under other business forms, if they had known that they would have had additional compliance and reporting requirements which might be subsequently introduced.

The removal of the exemption for the large exempt proprietary companies was considered in 2001 by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Corporations and Securities and again in 2006 by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. The government does not support revisiting this issue on the fly as is suggested in this amendment. We want to move ahead and get on with legislating this critical piece of tax integrity legislation. This is an issue that has been extensively considered in the past, and we believe that the principle of not making these sorts of changes retrospectively is a very important principle that ought to be upheld.