Deregulatory initiatives

Sunday, 04 January 2015

On 5 December 2014, Company Directors lodged a submission with the Office of Deregulation providing input on areas where we believe the Government can further reduce unnecessary red tape. This was written in response to a request received from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg. 

In our submission, we reiterated a number of our policy positions where we have previously identified such examples red tape. Specifically:

  • Inserting an Honest and Reasonable Director Defence for directors into the Corporations Act
  • Reinstating the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC)
  • Reconsidering the current thresholds for financial reporting
  • Accommodating greater flexibility for entities trying to change their financial year end
  • Amending all provisions under various Commonwealth legislation that allow for the reversal of the onus of proof or the evidentiary onus of proof
  • Inserting a tailored licensing regime for litigation funders into the Corporations Act that is enforceable by ASIC
  • Retaining the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), or at least core components of it
  • Simplifying and streamlining the remuneration reporting requirements for listed companies under section 300A of the Corporations Act
  • Removing potential liability for directors to indemnify the Commissioner of Taxation for specific taxes recovered in liquidation under section 588F of the Corporations Act

In addition to providing these specific examples, we have also referred to the results of our most recent DSI, setting out the broader areas directors feel are most affected by red tape in their businesses. We have recommended that substantive reform is required in these broader areas (in addition to the specific examples that we have provided) if the Government is to significantly improve director sentiment regarding the level of red tape in Australia.

Company Directors has long called for a reduction in red tape and reform of the whole system of creating, reviewing and removing regulation, in particular in our policy paper,“Towards Better Regulation”. Regulatory reform is a key element of the agenda for boosting national productivity and a crucial policy priority for Government. Addressing the areas red tape identified in our submission is therefore of relevance directors of all companies, from not-for-profits, small businesses through to ASX listed entities.

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