The Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department has
confirmed that reform of Australia's Personal Property
Securities law remains an active item on the
Government's legislative agenda. An exposure draft of a
Personal Property Security Bill is now well advanced and will
be released for public comment in the near future.
In its 2007 Budget, the Australian Government allocated $113
million towards the reform of the law of Personal Property
Securities (PPS) in Australia. PPS reform was
endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments as part of
the Australian regulatory reform agenda in 2006.
In the first half of 2007, the Australian
Attorney-General's Department released three Discussion
Papers on PPS reform. DLA Phillips Fox has closely followed
this reform agenda, and our PPS reform team discussed the
option papers with the Attorney-General's PPS Team.
While PPS reform is new to Australia, there have been major
PPS reforms across the Tasman in New Zealand, as well as in a
number of Canadian provinces. New Zealand revised its PPS laws
and established an integrated PPS online register in 2002. DLA
Phillips Fox in New Zealand actively assisted a range of
clients with these reforms through Board and senior executive
briefings, training materials, redrafting of security
documentation and legal advice on a myriad of transitional and
implementation issues arising from the 2002 New Zealand PPS
With the imminent release of a draft exposure Bill, and with
PPS reform touching all sectors of the Australian economy,
every business in Australia needs to be on top of this issue.
They must understand the impact that this reform may have on
them, and they must ensure that their industry associations and
other lobby groups represent them effectively in responding to
the draft exposure Bill. The Bill will seek to consolidate and
streamline over 70 different pieces of legislation across
Australia that govern the registration, priority and
extinguishment of security interests in property other than
The Australian Attorney-General's Department has
advised us that following the release of the draft legislation,
it is intended that a series of public forums and other
stakeholder meetings will be held. DLA Phillips Fox will be an
active participant in this process.
A key ingredient of the Australian PPS reform is the
establishment of an online Personal Property Security Register.
The Register will consolidate many (but, we note not
all) of the current federal and state based registries
of security interests (eg it will replace the ASIC register of
company charges and State-based registers of interest in motor
vehicles, goods, crops and other items). A tender to build the
Register will be released shortly.
What you should do
We strongly recommend that you identify a key executive to
take responsibility for monitoring developments and briefing
your senior executive team and Board on the impact of PPS
reform on your business.
PPS reform will affect much of your contract documentation
where you wish to retain a security interest over goods and
services that you supply to your customers. It will also affect
your business processes and policies, including your approach
to security in respect of finance transactions, due diligence
when buying or selling a business, and dealings in financial
We can help you prepare for PPS reform
DLA Phillips Fox has a PPS team that will keep you informed
of developments in relation to these important legal reforms.
Our New Zealand experience and track record will be of
significant benefit to you, both in assisting with submissions
and responses to the draft exposure Bill, and in implementing
the Australian reforms.
Phillips Fox has changed its name to DLA Phillips Fox
because the firm entered into an exclusive alliance with DLA
Piper, one of the largest legal services organisations in the
world. We will retain our offices in every major commercial
centre in Australia and New Zealand, with no operational change
to your relationship with the firm. DLA Phillips Fox can now
take your business one step further − by connecting
you to a global network of legal experience, talent and
This publication is intended as a first point of
reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for
professional advice. Specialist legal advice should always be
sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no
liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those
relying solely on this publication.
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In the years following the global financial crisis of 2008 many Australian investors lost their life savings as financial products failed and the Australian Stock Exchange shed over 3,000 points.
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