Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011: Committee Stage
While we could wait for the more comprehensive reform to which Senator Bacik alluded, I support the amendment tabled by my colleagues opposite for the reasons other Senators have described so well, namely, the context in which we find ourselves, the findings of the comparative research done on how other countries deal with bankruptcy and the recommendation by the Law Reform Commission of a period of three years.
I have one other point to make from the perspective of a witness. Another speaker indicated that failure in the United States is a badge of honour. While that may be the case, bankruptcy is not a badge of honour. My father was an entrepreneur who went through bankruptcy and I assure Senators that whereas being an entrepreneur is something of which one can be proud, bankruptcy is a shameful experience. In light of my witness and experience, I believe a three-year period would be much more appropriate. The entrepreneurial spirit does not last forever but is supported by prevailing conditions and law. I concur with Senators who have suggested that this is a time for being bold in this regard as distinct from being cautious.