What did the amendments do?
Senator Patrick explained that:
This is not the first time I've moved this amendment. I do hope it is the last. If needed, I will move it again and again and again, on every Treasury bill that comes through the Senate. I'll do it for however long it takes to repeal what is a completely unjustifiable and indefensible exemption, which gives dozens of Australian billionaires the chance to keep their private companies' financial statements and how much tax they do or don't pay a secret. There's an old saying that there's one rule for the rich and another rule for everybody else. Well, in this case, that is literally the truth. We've had a legal loophole for more than a quarter of a century that continues to keep Australia's super rich free from scrutiny and likely facilitates aggressive tax minimisation.
For senators who haven't kept abreast of this, my amendment will rid the Federal Register of Legislation of an extraordinary provision in the Corporations Act which exempts a select list of large proprietary companies from having to lodge financial reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. That exemption includes the companies' financial statements and directors' declarations to ASIC. This is highly problematic. The exemption has inappropriately created and entrenched in place a highly privileged class of companies that are not subject to the transparency and disclosure regimes that apply to every other company. If my amendment passes, then that completely inappropriate and unjustified legislative privilege will be abolished.