The Australian Government has released 2 sets of exposure draft regulations to help reduce the complexity of Australia’s corporations and financial services laws, by making Treasury portfolio regulations more adaptive, efficient, and navigable within existing policy settings.
The draft regulations support the regulatory stewardship of Treasury portfolio legislation. The government pursues regular improvement and maintenance opportunities under this program to ensure Treasury laws remain current and fit-for-purpose.
The government welcomes feedback from stakeholders on the draft regulations and explanatory material.
Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) regulations
The ALRC Regulations contain consequential amendments, primarily to the Corporations Regulations 2001 (Corporations Regulations), required following the proposed changes to the primary law contained in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for consultation) Bill 2022: ALRC Financial Services Interim Report Tranche 2, which was released for consultation between 12 December 2022 and 15 January 2023.
The Treasury Laws Amendment Bill would implement 2 recommendations from the ALRC's Interim Report A to:
- create a single glossary of defined terms in section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) and
- ‘unfreeze’ the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (AIA) as it applies to the Corporations Act and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 so the most current version of the AIA applies to both Acts.
The ALRC Regulations also partially implement 3 recommendations from the ALRC’s Interim Report B to:
- repeal redundant and spent regulations
- remove substantive obligations out of definitions
- amend unclear or incorrect regulations
The ALRC Regulations also make further miscellaneous amendments to improve navigability and comprehension.
The Modernising Business Communications (MBC) regulations
The MBC Regulations contain consequential amendments required following the changes to primary law contained in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Modernising Business Communications and Other Measures) Bill 2022.
The draft MBC Regulations make amendments to Treasury portfolio laws to:
- improve their technology neutrality, including ensuring that certain documents can be sent in either physical or electronic form
- remove prescriptive requirements to publish notices in newspapers in favour of a technology neutral standard of publication.