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Discussion paper on strengthening bankruptcy laws.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag

8 February 2005 018/2005

DISCUSSION PAPER ON STRENGTHENING BANKRUPTCY LAWS

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today announced the release of a discussion paper on changes to bankruptcy laws designed to target high income earners who use bankruptcy to avoid debts they can afford to pay.

“The Government remains committed to preventing high income earners, including barristers, from shielding their real assets from creditors by placing them in the name of their spouses or another party,” Mr Ruddock said.

“The discussion paper I have released today contains options and invites suggestions to strengthen the Bankruptcy Act to address this problem,” he said.

Amendments targeting this issue were released as an exposure draft in mid-2004 and later withdrawn.

“The Government listened to concerns about the previous anti-avoidance proposals and now invites comment from stakeholders on revision of those changes,” he said.

“However, the Government remains determined to toughen bankruptcy laws so that bankrupts cannot live the high life while their creditors remain unpaid,” he said.

The Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA) will also soon convene stakeholder focus groups on these issues.

The discussion paper is available on ITSA’s website at www.itsa.gov.au

Comments on the discussion paper should be given to ITSA by 31 March 2005.

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop 0419 278 715