Terms of Reference

On 4 February 2016, the Senate referred the following matter to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 12 May 2016:

The causes and consequences of the collapse of listed retailers in Australia, with particular reference to:

  1. the conduct of private equity firms prior to, during and after corporate takeovers;
  2. the role of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in overseeing corporate takeovers;
  3. the effect of the appointment of external administrators on secured and unsecured creditors, including employees and consumers of retail businesses;
  4. the effect of external administration on gift card holders and those who have made deposits on goods not delivered;
  5. the desirability of the following proposals in the event that gift card holders are unable to redeem their gift cards following the appointment of external administrators:
    1. placing an obligation on external administrators to honour gift cards,
    2. a requirement that funds used to purchase gift cards be kept in a separate trust account by businesses,
    3. directors to be personally liable for the value of gift cards purchased; and
  6. any related matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Standing Committees on Economics
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3540
Fax: +61 2 6277 5719