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Political divide erased as Senate passes bankruptcy law

Published:Sunday | October 19, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Nigel Clarke

Government Senator and Minister of Justice Mark Golding has described the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act 2014 as the "most challenging piece of legislation" he has had to deal with since becoming minister in 2012.

"It is a very major piece of legislation, a very complex piece of legislation, and some 309 sections long, and it has taken a lot of effort from very many people to get us to this point, and I think we have a good bill," said Golding as the Senate passed the legislation last Thursday.

The act was approved with 43 additional amendments in the Upper House, following passage in the Lower House, with 100 amendments

The new law deals with bankruptcy, insolvency, receiverships, provisional supervision, and winding up.

In his contribution to the debate, Opposition Senator Nigel Clarke concurred that it was a "monumental" piece of legislation that was highly technical and complex, "and it's probably the longest bill to be introduced since the Companies Act of 2004".

"Taken together with the Secured Interest in Personal Property legislation, this represents a quantum leap in the legal and commercial architecture designed for a modern economy, and I am an enthusiastic supporter of the bill as I believe it is of fundamental importance to the emergence of the kind of vibrant economy that we all want," said Clarke, who was a member of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament mandated to review the legislation.

"The Joint Select Committee met over 20 times over eight months, going through clause by clause of the original bill and meeting on Saturdays and Sundays as required," Clarke added.

Opposition Senator Cavan Gayle also welcomed the legislation, noting that it was very critical, not only to businesses, but to the working class.

"This piece of legislation is an important one. We have waited on it a very long time, and I commend the approach and its intent," said Gayle.