Senate urged to save CAMAC

The Senate’s decision to refer the draft Bill to abolish the Corporations & Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) to one of its committees could save CAMAC, says Governance Institute, claiming the government’s decision to axe CAMC was ill-conceived and contrary to the best interests of the market or economy

“Governance Institute has consistently maintained that the highly respected body that has been a powerhouse for intelligent, effective and practical corporations and financial markets reform for 24 years should not be abolished. We are hopeful that the Senate Committee will make a recommendation to retain CAMAC, which in turn provides the government with the opportunity to heed stakeholders’ views,” Governance Institute’s chief executive, Mr Tim Sheehy says.

“There’s a lot at stake in losing CAMAC”, Mr Sheehy said. “Corporations and the financial markets are the lynchpin of Australia’s economy. If they do not function efficiently, there will be detrimental consequences for business, investors and the capital markets. 

“Having an expert, research-focused, consultative and independent body like CAMAC to develop and advise the government on best practice policy has made a significant contribution to the strength and efficiency of our corporate and financial institutions. It has avoided knee-jerk, politically-motivated regulation that can be very damaging to the economy”.

In addition, Mr Sheehy points out that, as a cost-saving measure, abolishing CAMAC simply does not make sense. “CAMAC convenes a part-time panel of corporate law luminaries who for all intents and purposes volunteer their time. It is supported by three staff at an annual cost of $1 million. CAMAC is a small body that punches well above its weight and delivers economic benefits that greatly outweigh its funding costs, such as our high standards of corporate governance and a stable and efficient environment for corporate activity. These things are easy to take for granted but will be deeply missed when they are gone,” Mr Sheehy said. 

CAMAC has distinguished itself for developing practical policy and regulation on a wide range of issues including enhancements to continuous disclosure, managed investment schemes, executive remuneration, related party financial transactions, statutory derivative actions to empower shareholders, and many more.

“CAMAC is a lean, efficient and highly-regarded organisation that has improved our corporate regulatory framework over the past two decades and continues to have a vital role to play in the decades ahead.  Corporate law reform cannot stand still and without CAMAC it most definitely will,” Mr Sheehy concluded.

For further information contact Viv Hardy at CallidusPR on 0411 208 951 or Tim Sheehy at Governance Institute of Australia on 0419 490 594.

About Governance Institute of Australia

Governance Institute of Australia is the only independent professional association with a sole focus on the practice of governance. We provide the best education and support for practising chartered secretaries, governance advisers and risk managers to drive responsible performance in their organisations.

MR/2015/2

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