Law Reform for the Cash Economy: What is Needed and How will Things Change?

Free Public Lecture

Law Reform for the Cash Economy: What is Needed and How will Things Change?

Theatre G08, Ground Floor
185 Pelham Street


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The cash economy, sometimes known as the black economy, is one of the key challenges for government today. Cash dealing, under the table and informal economic activity have always been with us, but new threats and vulnerabilities are arising from fundamental economic, technological and social changes. What changes to our laws are needed to address root causes as well as immediate consequences? Is law reform likely to succeed and where will it have most impact?

Mr Michael Andrew AO was appointed by the Government in December 2016 to chair the Black Economy Taskforce, which was tasked with developing an innovative, forward-looking and genuinely whole-of-government strategy to combat the black economy. The Taskforce reported to the Government in October 2017, after wide-ranging consultations with businesses and community members around Australia, and presented findings on the size and features of the black economy, and proposals for law reform to address it. The focus of the Taskforce was on practical and resilient solutions to overhaul reporting systems, incentives and deterrents, enforcement and shaping societal norms for the future. Many proposals for change were taken up in recent federal budgets and reform consultations are ongoing across a range of areas of law.

This talk will be followed by a panel discussion from experts at Melbourne Law School on law reforms that will have a particular impact in the fields of corporation law, tax law and employment law. Professor Helen Anderson will discuss corporate law reforms including those aimed at the rise of phoenix companies. Professor Miranda Stewart will discuss various law reform proposals in the tax context, both to strengthen administration, increase penalties and deal with cash payments. Professor John Howe will discuss law reforms in the labour law arena. The event will be chaired by Professor Anna Chapman.

This event is part of Law Week 13-19 May 2019, presented by Victoria Law Foundation.


  • Dr Michael Andrew
    Dr Michael Andrew, Chair of the Board of Taxation