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Top journos are mad – and you should be too

The Turnbull Government has been working behind closed doors to privatise Australia's corporate database. But momentum is building to stop the sell off.

Watch this video from award-winning investigative journalist Michael West, then add your name to the 75,000-strong petition.

Selling off Australia's corporate database could see journalists and academics lose access to the records they need to expose rampant tax dodging, shell companies and corporate exploitation.

Time is running out to stop the sell off, which is why we're taking the fight direct to the nation's capital. We'll deliver the petition in a showy media stunt, and lift up the voices of journalists.

Be part of this huge public push to force a government back down on ASIC, by adding your name to the petition.
The 'ASIC Registry' is a national database where corporations in Australia file their business names, histories, financial records and ownership. It is owned and operated by the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). The database contains over ten million records of corporate financial data from over two million companies.
The database is a critical piece of transparency infrastructure, used by journalists, academics and civil society groups to scrutinise corporate financial affairs. In particular, the registry has been central to efforts to expose the shady tax dodging habits of private companies.

It is also used to identify shell companies, which facilitate many serious crimes including labour exploitation, human trafficking, money laundering, financing terrorism, commercial online child sexual abuse, illicit arms trading, fraud, embezzlement and bribery.

In addition, the registry is used by unions to help pursue wage theft claims on behalf of exploited workers, accountancy firms to pursue the assets of liquidated companies to satisfy creditors, and lawyers to pursue child support payments.

Here are some specific recent examples of the way the database has been used:

  • Investigative journalism – Former Fairfax Business Editor, Michael West, routinely uses the database to uncover corporate malpractice – including the shady tax affairs of dirty energy giant, Glencore. The jouranlists union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, has written to the Turnbull Government raising their concerns and calling for the sale to not proceed.

  • Ousting corporate tax dodgers – Earlier this year, GetUp members funded a hard-hitting report that exposed Australia's biggest tax dodgers – which relied on digging through filings in the corporate database.

  • Exposing labour exploitation – The Fair Work Commission cracked down on Australia's biggest chicken supplier over exploiting foreign workers and using bogus business addresses.
Eighty four journalists have launched a powerful Open Letter detailing the threats to media freedom and corporate accountability of Turnbull's ASIC sell off.


To Prime Minister Turnbull, and the Honourable Members of the House and Senate:

Keep corporate accountability out of corporate control. We call on you to stop the sale of the ASIC corporate registry and keep corporate accountability in public hands.

81,377 signatures

We need 3,623 more

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