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Phoenix and Other Measures Bill passed – good stuff but nothing to do with Phoenix

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The Phoenix and Other Measures bill was passed on 9 May 2012.  There are a couple of good things in there – it allows ASIC to place an abandoned company into liquidation and allows for the creation of a new website for all corporate insolvency notices.  But, very trickily considering its name, there is nothing whatsoever regarding Phoenix companies!  Here are the details.

ASIC initiated Liquidation

The legislation will provide ASIC with the administrative power to order the winding up of a company that has been abandoned by the directors.  There is a good reason for this.  Prior to this Bill, employees sometimes had a problem when the company that employed them ceased to trade but the directors abandoned the company rather than putting it into liquidation.  The problems was that outstanding employee entitlements can be paid under the GEERS scheme but the GEERS scheme is only triggered by the liquidation of the company.  So now, ASIC will be able to step into the breach and cause the liquidation of the company and employees will be able to claim under GEERS for any outstanding entitlements.

Good stuff.

New ASIC Website for insolvency notices

Until now, a variety of Notices had to be published in a newspaper circulating generally in the State where a company traded.  The Notices include Petitions for Winding up, Notices of Appointment as Liquidator and Notices of Creditor Meetings.  ASIC will now create a website that will be the repository for all those Notices and others.  It will be up and running by 1 July 2012 (ASIC says).

Again, good stuff from a convenience perspective.  But I am less than impressed with the pricing of those advertisements.  ASIC says it will reduce industry advertising costs by $30 million over the next four years.  Not so.  The cost of the ads will be set at $400 a Notice.  I have had a look at my advertising costs for March 2012 and my average cost was $355 – that looks like a price increase to me.

So for me that’s a Pass for convenience but a Fail for cost saving.

And lastly, as to the new Phoenix Measures – nary a word!! That’s in other proposed legislation so go figure where the name of this Bill came from.

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