The Australian Government has announced temporary changes to the foreign investment review framework, to better protect Australia’s national interest as we deal with the economic implications arising from the spread of the coronavirus.
Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz strongly welcomed the new changes that were effective immediately.
“The Australian Government has moved quickly, to ensure all proposed foreign investments into Australia and of Australian assets, subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act), will need approval, regardless of value or the nature of the foreign investor.
“And while investment is an essential element of our economy, both now and as we recover when this is over – we must ensure we’re putting the national interest first.
“Of course, Australia is and will be open for business and we recognise the importance of investment. But these changes will ensure appropriate oversight at this time when many are doing it so tough,” Mr Buchholz said.
To ensure enough time for screening applications, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) will be working with existing and new applicants to extend timeframes for reviewing applications from 30 days to up to six months.
“The last thing we want to do – is put more businesses, more jobs at risk. The Government will prioritise urgent applications for investments that protect and support Australian business and Australian jobs,” Mr Buchholz said.
“But we will not put at risk the farms, businesses, residential land across our great country, here in the Scenic Rim or Lockyer Valley – to be snapped up, to be profiteered from, for a “bargain price by an international investor, like a scavenger picking at a carcass.
“We have some of the most fertile farming, growing land in the world. We can’t let that be monopolised by investors – our growers do a great job managing the land and using it productively,” Mr Buchholz said.
“As is justifiably necessary – the Treasurer will continue to review any investments and apply conditions to address any risk. I congratulate the Treasurer for taking this strong action in all our interests.
Mr Buchholz said even in these uncertain and rough economic times, Australia continues to welcome foreign investment because it is vital to our economic success, across many sectors.
The temporary change will be achieved by reducing to $0 the monetary screening thresholds for all foreign investments under the Act. By temporarily reducing the foreign investment thresholds, the Australian Government will ensure appropriate oversight over all proposed foreign investment during this time.