Will dodgy directors get to keep burning companies all summer long? - Media Release


Tomorrow will mark one month since the Turnbull Government announced it would finally introduce a director identification number to take action on illegal phoenix activity, but the public is yet to see any draft legislation.

There are only three joint sitting weeks left in the year. Dodgy directors could continue scamming honest businesses, employees and taxpayers all through summer if Malcolm Turnbull delays any further.

The Government hasn’t clarified whether acquiring a director identification number will require a 100-point identity check – a fundamental aspect of the proposal Labor announced in May. Bizarrely, Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has even linked a director identification number to the use of biometric data.

The Government keeps missing deadlines on a register of beneficial ownership, something they’re yet to commit to making public. 

Questions also remain over public release of updated modelling of the costs that dodgy directors impose through phoenix activity. The Turnbull Government is continuing to use figures from five years ago, despite receiving updated costs in 2015. The 2012 estimate put the cost of phoenix activity at up to $3 billion a year. Is the Turnbull Government embarrassed to tell us what this has risen to?

Labor has been calling for the introduction of director identification numbers since May. The bodies that back a director identification number include:

  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
  • Productivity Commission
  • Tax Justice Network
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Master Builders Australia
  • Australian Council of Trade Unions
  • Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association
  • Phoenix Project, comprising experts from Melbourne University Law School and Monash University Business School
  • Australian Institute of Credit Management

For the sake of Australia’s taxpayers, workers and honest businesses, the Turnbull Government must implement a director identification number.

Australia needs action, not announcements, on dodgy phoenix activity.


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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.