New State and Federal Law Update

May 20, 2011

Federal

Bankruptcy Reform Act 2010 – On 1st December 2010 the new personal bankruptcy laws came into effect. Under the original reform model the minimum debt for which a creditor can petition for bankruptcy was to be changed from $2,000 to $10,000. However this idea was later changed and the minimum debt is now officially $5,000.

Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard Corded Internal Window Coverings) Regulations 2010 – Under these Regulations all corded internal window coverings supplied after 30 December 2010 must contain certain prevention warnings.

Carer Recognition Act 2010 – The object of this Act is to increase recognition and awareness of carers and to acknowledge the valuable contribution they make to society.

Personal Property Security Act 2009 (Cth) – Personal property is any type of property other than land, buildings or fixtures which form a part of that land. Cars, televisions and jewelry are all types of personal property. Personal property also includes intangibles items such as intellectual property and contract rights. Security in terms of personal property is when a secured party takes an interest in personal property as security for a loan or other obligation. For example, a bank may offer a loan to a person in exchange for security over the person’s car. The Personal Property Security Register has been created through the Personal Property Security Act 2009 (Cth) (“PPS Act”). The Personal Property Security Register (“PPS Register”) will bring together all the relevant Commonwealth and State bodies. This will create a national online body which will be responsible for registering and maintaining a registry of securities.

The registry will allow for lenders and business to register their security interest and have them placed on an online database. This database will be open to the public and will allow interested parties to search the database for any relevant interests. This online registry will allow prospective buyers of personal property a chance to check the property before they buy to ensure that no security is currently placed over it. The PPS Act and PPS Register are scheduled to commence during October 2011.

As a result of the reform several current registering bodies will cease to act. Security interests which are currently registered on those registers will generally be migrated to the national PPS Register. The Personal Property Security Registry’s website states that following registers are currently in scope for migration. Any registers not listed below will not be migrated.

Commonwealth

  • Australian Register of Ships (mortgages only)
  • ASIC – Register of Company Charges (including provisional charges)
  • Fisheries Register

Victoria

  • Vehicle Securities Register
  • Register of Liens on Wool and Stock Mortgages (stock mortgages only)
  • Register of Co-operative Charges

State

Retail Leases Amendment Regulations 2010 – The regulations set out a new landlord’s disclosure statement form which must be used when entering into retail leases. This form must be used from January 2011 and it is located on the Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner website.

Liquor Control Reform Amendment Regulations 2010 – The regulations set out new forms for closure and evacuation notices, and revocation notices. Under the new regulations the Director of Liquor Licensing is also given new powers to reduce or waive certain fees.

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