Chapter 1 - Introduction
By letter dated 11 November 2008 the Attorney-General,
The Hon Robert McClelland MP, requested that the Senate Legal and
Constitutional Affairs Committee inquire into and report on the proposed
Personal Property Securities Bill 2008. On 12 November 2008 the Senate, on the recommendation of the Selection of Bills Committee, referred the exposure
draft provisions of the bill to the committee for inquiry and report by 24 February 2009. The Committee subsequently obtained an extension of the tabling date to 19 March 2009.
Outline of the reform
The Government states that the proposed reform, as reflected in the
exposure draft bill, would apply to all security interests in personal property
and is designed 'to remove the uncertainty arising from the vast amount of
Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation and the uneasy interaction of
statutes, the common law and equitable legal principles.'
More background information about the reform is outlined in chapter 2 of
Conduct of the inquiry
The committee advertised the inquiry in The Australian newspaper
on 3 December 2008. Details of the inquiry were placed on the
committee's website. On 18 November 2008 the committee also wrote to more than
50 organisations and individuals inviting submissions by 10 December 2008.
The committee received 33 submissions.
These are listed at Appendix 1. All submissions published by the committee were
placed on the committee's website.
The committee held public hearings in Sydney on 22 and 23 January 2009, in Melbourne on 29 January 2009 and in Canberra on 6 February 2009. A list of witnesses who appeared at the hearings is at Appendix 2
and copies of the Hansard transcript are available through the Internet at
The committee thanks those organisations and individuals who made
submissions and gave evidence at the public hearings.
Structure of the report
The committee's report is structured in the following way:
- Chapter 2 provides background to the proposal and information
about the need for reform, and outlines key concepts and key components of the
- Chapter 3 considers a threshold question raised about which
system of reform is appropriate;
- Chapter 4 examines broad concerns with the proposed bill, such as
drafting issues and the timetable for finalising and implementing the reform;
- Chapter 5 considers evidence the committee received about
particular areas of concern such as the proposed national register,
international conflict of laws and the new requirement to act in a commercially
reasonable manner; and
- Chapter 6 outlines some of the other aspects of the bill that
could have been considered if more time had been allocated to the inquiry.
Note on references
References in this report are to individual submissions as received by
the committee, not to a bound volume. References to Committee Hansard are to
the proof Hansard: page numbers may vary between the proof and the official
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