Treasury releases first tranche of draft laws cutting complexity

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Treasury releases first tranche of draft laws cutting complexity

29 August 2022

Federal Treasury has released a first tranche of draft legislation aimed at improving financial services laws that have become mired in complexity.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), which last year released a first interim report as part of a three-year review, has said the volume of law has ballooned over time and become unwieldly.

Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones says following consultation the Government will introduce legislation later this year to simplify and improve Treasury portfolio laws.

“This legislation represents the first tranche of improvements the Government will progress to simplify corporations and financial services legislation,” a statement says.

“Simplifying Australia’s financial services law will benefit consumers and industry. It will support Australia’s critical financial sector by addressing the burden of unnecessarily complex legislation.”

The ALRC first interim report made recommendations on some technical matters that the Government could implement, while seeking further feedback on a number of proposals and questions.

The review is looking at issues such as advice definitions and could ultimately lead to a major overhaul of the Corporations Act.

A second interim report is due by September 30 with a third report scheduled by August 25 next year. A consolidated final report will be delivered by November 30 2023.

The initial draft legislation released last week removes redundant definitions and improves the “navigability and clarity” of corporations and financial services laws.

The amendments also move nominal modifications of the law within legislative instruments made by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission directly into primary Acts and regulations.

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The Treasury consultation on the drafts closes on September 20. Details are available here.