Michelle Lensink

Business Names Registration (Transitional Arrangements) Bill

This speech is to make some comments in relation to the Business Names (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2011 and the Business Names Registration (Transitional Arrangements) Bill 2011.

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 15 February 2012.)

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (21:25): I rise to make some comments in relation to the Business Names (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2011 and the Business Names Registration (Transitional Arrangements) Bill 2011, which are a pair, so I will discuss those in cognate. Having followed my experienced colleague, the Hon. Rob Lucas, and hearing his remarks in relation to the manner in which our ministers, like lemmings, agree to things at COAG meetings, I do concur.

On the occasion of this particular legislation, however, it is uncontroversial and straightforward and probably one of the ones which has arisen from the national partnership to deliver a seamless national economy which actually makes some sense, that agreement having been signed in December 2009, from which a number of pieces of our consumer laws have been referred to the commonwealth. These include the Occupational Licensing National Law (South Australia) Bill 2010, the Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Australian Consumer Law) Bill 2010, the Credit (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2010 and the Credit (Transitional Arrangements) Bill 2010.

This legislation, we are hopeful, will reduce red tape and costs for business registering or renewing a business name in that businesses which have had to register in multiple jurisdictions will have to register with only one agency, that being the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Protections are provided for existing business names holders in that they will be migrated to the new system and can continue to use that name and be renewed. They will need only one registration. The bill is to take effect from 28 May 2012.

The Business Names (Commonwealth Powers) Bill refers the state powers to the commonwealth to enable them to legislate for the new national business names registration system. I do note that businesses will be able to register online at any time, which will be a good innovation for them, if not particularly timely.

The national legislation of the commonwealth is the Business Names Registration Act 2011 and the Business Names Registration (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2011. These two bills are not particularly lengthy. They really do refer the laws. The second one, the transitional arrangements bill, adopts the commonwealth legislation and applies those constitutional powers required to do so. There are transitional provisions as well, and I do trust that this particular measure will make life somewhat simpler for small businesses, in particular, operating across various borders. With those comments, I endorse the bills.

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