In the 2021 Budget, the Government announced that it would undertake an independent review of the insolvent trading ‘safe harbour’.
The safe harbour was established under the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 2) Act 2017, as part of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. It provides protection for company directors from personal liability for insolvent trading if the company is genuinely attempting to restructure.
The overarching aim of the safe harbour is to encourage directors to seek advice early on how to restructure and save financially distressed but viable companies, rather than closing down prematurely to avoid personal liability. This supports a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, by providing breathing space for distressed businesses.
The review will assess whether the safe harbour remains fit for purpose in terms of supporting companies to restructure and survive.
The review is led by an independent panel of experts, chaired by Ms Genevieve Sexton, with Ms Leanne Chesser and Mr Stephen Parbery as panel members. The review will run for a three-month period, between 24 August and 23 November 2021.
The review will help fulfill the Government’s commitment to explore further reforms to Australia’s insolvency framework to provide as many businesses as possible the opportunity to turnaround, restructure and survive.
Questions regarding the review can be emailed to SafeHarbourReview@treasury.gov.au.
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