19 November 2021

Have your say on technology neutrality in Treasury law


Joint media release with
The Hon Ben Morton MP
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Minister for the Public Service
Special Minister of State

The Morrison Government is supporting Australia’s economic recovery by making it simpler for Australian businesses to operate and grow.

Modernising business communications is a priority under Australia’s deregulation agenda and reduces the costs of doing business through digitisation and technology neutrality.

The Government has released draft legislation to improve the technology neutrality of Treasury portfolio laws. The amendments will ensure regulation is well-designed, fit-for-purpose and supports Australia’s businesses to grow, create jobs and remain competitive in a global, digital environment.

Building on the proposed reforms in the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 (the Corporations Amendment Bill) introduced into Parliament in October, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Modernising Business Communications) Bill will provide greater flexibility for businesses, individuals and regulators when communicating with each other.

The exposure draft comprises proposed amendments that:

  • expand the global regimes scope to allow documents to be signed and sent electronically in the Corporations Amendment Bill
  • legislate relief for companies, registered schemes and disclosing entities sending documents to ‘lost members’ under the Corporations Act 2001
  • allow notices to be published in any accessible and reasonably prominent manner across Treasury portfolio laws
  • update payment provisions in Treasury legislation to allow for electronic payments
  • update the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and associated legislation to give consumers and their credit providers greater flexibility when updating their details and sending documents

In the next phase of this project, the Government will consider improving technology neutrality in further contexts, including:

  • communicating with regulators
  • exemptions to the Electronic Transactions Act 1999
  • product disclosure and recordkeeping requirements

We encourage business operators and professionals who engage with these processes contribute to the consultation.

The exposure draft laws and accompanying draft explanatory documents are available on the Treasury website. Consultations will close 10 December 2021.