Page 4762 - Week 11 - Thursday, 20 October 2011

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A 24-hour online business name registration system will result in improved efficiency and convenience for business name owners. Simultaneous registration with the Australian business number registration will also provide businesses with convenience. Information will be prefilled from one registration to the next. Applicants will also be provided with information and links to trademark and domain name searches during the business name registration process.

The national scheme will use an identical or nearly identical test when assessing a proposed business name against existing business names. This test will provide a consistent approach across Australia. Under this test existing businesses with similar names to other businesses in Australia will not be disadvantaged. The name will be retained with a geographic identifier. For example, a company in the ACT with the name Acme Glass will become Acme Glass (ACT). In Western Australia, a company with the same name will become Acme Glass (WA); however, both companies’ signage and stationery will remain the same.

The implementation of these reforms was carefully considered in the context of the territory’s human rights legislation. This legislation will potentially raise issues of privacy. To generate and maintain a comprehensive national business names register, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission may have access to personal information about individual business proprietors, such as name, residential address and telephone number.

However, limitations on privacy are reasonable and will be minimised as information held by ASIC will be subject to a number of protections contained in the commonwealth regulations. The information that will be provided is no more than is currently collected under the ACT system.

I am confident that this bill will achieve the policy goals of the intergovernmental agreement for business names, such as less red tape and saving businesses time and money. This is achieved while imposing the least possible limit on this right to privacy and those limits are reasonable in the circumstances.

This bill offers a number of benefits for existing ACT businesses and has the prospect of also attracting new businesses into the territory. I commend the Business Names Registration (Transition to Commonwealth) Bill 2011 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2011 (No 2)

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.34): I move:

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