Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
realestatebusiness logo

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Home of the REB Top 100 Agents
Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our newsletter

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

One step closer for digital signatures to stick around

By Juliet Helmke
03 September 2021 | 1 minute read
digital signatures

After temporary COVID relief measures allowed the implementation of digital signatures and electronic meetings, the government has kicked off a consultation as it seeks to make the changes permanent.

The government has introduced draft legislation on permanent measures enabling companies to sign and send documents and hold meetings electronically, and is now seeking feedback on the bill from interested stakeholders.

The bill would make permanent the temporary relief introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing a statutory mechanism for the electronic execution of company documents including meetings-related reports, and to use technology to hold meetings.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The measures first came into effect in May 2020 via a temporary power given to the Treasurer, which allowed him to issue a determination that allowed companies to satisfy certain legal obligations of the Corporations Act 2001 via electronic means. 

The temporary measures enabled many businesses to accept digital signatures on documents – such as for home loans and property transactions – for the first time.

The powers expired on 21 March 2021, but were subsequently reinstated from 10 August 2021 through 31 March 2022 following widespread calls for their reintroduction.

A submission from the Australian Banking Association to an earlier consultation on making the reforms permanent noted that “the lapsing of the temporary reforms without an extension or permanent solution being put in place created material disruption in the legal and financial sectors”. 

The return to requiring a “wet ink” signature led many to push for a permanent resolution to allow electronic signatures.

The government first announced it would consult on making the temporary measures permanent in the 2020-21 budget’s digital business plan.

Feedback from a consultation held earlier in the year noted there was overwhelming support from industry representatives to cement the measures, including listed companies, share registries, business associations, and legal professionals. 

Submissions close on 10 September 2021.

One step closer for digital signatures to stick around
digital signature 2 reb
lawyersweekly logo

Tags:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 

Do you have an industry update?

top suburbs

12 month growth
Warren
49.59%
Mullumbimby
49.48%
Waverton
49.18%
Blairgowrie
48.97%
Porepunkah
48.95%
Streaky Bay
48.89%
Bruce
48.67%
Koolewong
48.46%
Failford
48.4%
Victory Heights
48.22%
SEE AREA REPORTS ON SMART PROPERTY INVESTMENT WEBSITE
Subscribe to Newsletter

Ensure you never miss an issue of the Real Estate Business Bulletin.
Enter your email to receive the latest real estate advice and tools to help you sell.