One-year bankruptcies – Dead as a Dodo

Since October 2017 I’ve been writing about the controversial, long awaited, much anticipated and debated proposal to reduce the current minimum bankruptcy term from three years to one year.

The proposal was contained in the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation Statement issued on 7 December 2015. Since then progress to implement the proposal has been slow, particularly stalling with the Federal Election in July 2016.

But finally on 19 October 2017 the Government introduced into Federal Parliament the long promised Bill to effect the proposal. A flurry of excitement ensued as the Bill was referred to the relevant Senate Committee in November 2017, and with one suggested change, the Committee recommended that the Senate pass the Bill.

The Bill was just awaiting passage by the Senate, and then Royal Assent. In June 2018 the passing of the Bill seemed days or weeks away. I had actually drafted yet another LinkedIn article on the issue to post as soon as the Bill was passed.

But it didn’t happen.

I understand that it was constantly on the Senate’s ‘List of things to do’ but it never made it to the top of the list.

Then after a ‘bruising leadership contest’ Turnbull was ousted as Prime Minister in August 2018, and with the change in leadership in Canberra, the Bill appeared to fall in priority.

Now there is a Federal Election scheduled for next month, with a high probability of a change in government.

Given that the proposal for one-year bankruptcies was a Turnbull Government-inspired move, that was controversial and, at the least, not highly popular, I think the moment has passed.

As one in the minority who supported the proposal (in its modified form), I am slightly disappointed. The proposal ended up flying as well as the dodo. So that’s that and I’ll stop wasting my time (and yours) by writing about it.

Other than to say …… you probably now have more chance of seeing the Easter Bunny.

April 2019.