Senate debates

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Australian Securities and Investments Commission Amendment (Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Abolition) Bill 2014; Second Reading

5:32 pm

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

Today I introduce a Bill to amend the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 to cease the operation of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (or CAMAC) and its legal committee.

The cessation of CAMAC will also result in the formal termination of CAMAC's legal committee which was formally established in September 1991.

However, the business environment has changed from 1989 when the agency was first established as the Corporations and Securities Advisory Committee.

The professionalism and capacity of industry representative groups is now much stronger, and business is quite capable of putting its views to government without the need for an additional layer of taxpayer-funded bureaucracy.

This Bill fulfils a commitment made by the Government in the 2014-15 Budget to abolish CAMAC and its legal committee as part of the effort to achieve a smaller and more rational government footprint.

CAMAC and its legal committee are 2 of the 36 government bodies the Abbott Government has committed to abolishing as part of our Smaller Government reforms.

The Abbott Government is acting early to deliver a smaller and more rational government, and contribute to fiscal repair and to the sustainability of government operations.

Ceasing the operation of small bodies and committees generates savings beyond merely the saving of the annual appropriation.

The ongoing operation of small agencies absorbs resources across the broader Commonwealth public service, including through the oversight costs incurred by responsible departments, central agencies and integrity agencies.

This Bill terminates the operation of CAMAC by repealing Part 9 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act and making a number of consequential amendments to that Act.

The cessation of CAMAC will take effect from the 28th day after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 of this Bill provides for the transitional and saving arrangements necessary to facilitate the cessation of CAMAC.

The transitional and saving provisions provide for things such as:

        I am confident industry will continue to be vocal in expressing its views to Government on the operation of the corporations laws.

        The Treasury will act as an adviser and coordinator of advice, given its role as a policy agency. Treasury will continue to advise the Government in relation to corporate law, financial markets and financial services following the cessation of CAMAC. That advice will continue to be informed by regular engagement with relevant experts and with industry.

        In addition, ASIC will continue to be empowered under its enabling legislation to make recommendations to the Government about any matter connected with:

                Finally, the Government retains the ability to refer matters regarding the corporate regulatory framework to other Government research and advisory bodies such as the Productivity Commission and the Australian Law Reform Commission.

                With this Bill the Government is fulfilling its commitment to abolish CAMAC and its legal committee as part of the effort to achieve a smaller and more rational government footprint.

                The full details of these measure are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

                I thank CAMAC's past and current members, as well as its staff.

                I commend the Bill to the House.

                Debate adjourned.