My submission on the Corporations Amendment (Corporate Insolvency Reforms) Bill 2020 (the Bill)

Treasury invited submissions on the Bill providing only 5 days notice, after the exposure draft and EM had been released.

I am not normally prone to making legislative drafting submissions, but the rush in this case really warranted one given that I had read and considered the merit of the exposure draft. I suspect that the short time frame, plus the lockdown in Melbourne, will have substantially limited the ability of many usual contributors to respond.

Some of the key points of my submission are as follows.

The debt threshold for the application of restructuring and simplified liquidation needs careful thought and ought be lowered.

The final draft of the law must minimise the operative provisions of substance that are left to regulations.

Debts incurred in the trade on period must be given some priority, if no personal liability is to be imposed on the directors.

Applications to Court during the restructuring and the simplified liquidation must be limited, probably most effectively by requiring leave and subjecting the discretion to grant it to a purposive test.

Transition to liquidation needs to be clearer, and there should be no transition to VA.

The reporting obligations and the investigative powers of the restructuring practitioner need to be reasonably strong, if truncated for purpose.

The employee entitlements and tax filing threshold obligations should be scrapped.

The legislation should be delayed by 2 months to allow more work to be done on it.

A copy of my submission is available at this link:

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