Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference (as agreed on 28 September 2022)


Inquiry into the effectiveness of Australia’s corporate insolvency laws in protecting and maximising value for the benefit of all interested parties and the economy, including:

  1. recent and emerging trends in the use of corporate insolvency and related practices in Australia, including in regard to:
    1. temporary COVID-19 pandemic insolvency measures, and other policy measures introduced in response to the pandemic that may have had an effect on such trends and practices;
    2. recent changes in domestic and international economic conditions, increases in material and input costs for businesses and inflationary pressures more broadly, and supply shortages in certain industries; and
    3. any other contributory factors or events that have impacted insolvency patterns;
  2. the operation of the existing legislation, common law, and regulatory arrangements, including:
    1. the small business restructuring reforms (2021);
    2. the simplified liquidation reforms (2021);
    3. the unlawful phoenixing reforms (2019); and
    4. the operation of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 in the context of corporate insolvency;
  3. other potential areas for reform, such as:
    1. unfair preference claims;
    2. trusts with corporate trustees;
    3. insolvent trading safe harbours; and
    4. international approaches and developments;
  4. supporting business access to corporate turnaround capabilities to manage financial distress;
  5. the role, remuneration, financial viability, and conduct of corporate insolvency practitioners (including receivers, liquidators, administrators, and small business restructuring practitioners);
  6. the role of government agencies in the corporate insolvency system, including:
    1. the role and effectiveness of ASIC as the corporate insolvency regulator;
    2. the ATO’s role and enforcement approaches to corporate insolvency, and relevant changes to its approach over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic;
    3. the role, funding and operation of relevant bodies, including the Assetless Administration Fund and the Small Business Ombudsman; and
  7. any related corporate insolvency matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3583
Fax: +61 2 6277 5719