Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz MP is calling for community members to have their say on the Coalitions Policy Discussion Paper on Foreign Investment in Australian Agricultural Land and Agribusiness.
Mr Buchholz said it is clear that there is scope to improve the current foreign investment regime when it comes to agricultural land and agricultural business.
I believe in foreign investment and I believe in Australias national interest, Mr Buchholz said.
There is no doubt that foreign investment has been instrumental to the economic development and growth of Australia. I want to make sure that when it comes to agriculture, our foreign investment regime strengthens our economy, promotes growth, and fosters confidence that foreign investment is in our national interest, he said.
Many nations including China, India, Brazil, the United States and New Zealand have foreign investment
regimes that provide more regulatory oversight and greater transparency than ours in terms of land holdings.
We need to improve the foreign investment regime as it is applied to agricultural land and agricultural
Mr Buchholz said the Policy Discussion Paper seeks comment in relation to the following proposals:
? Developing and implementing a national register of foreign ownership of real property and a
national register of foreign ownership of businesses valued above an appropriate threshold;
? FIRB consideration of any proposed foreign acquisition of agricultural land valued at $15 million or
? FIRB consideration of any proposed foreign acquisition of an agribusiness where the investment
exceeds $53 million or represents a stake of 15 per cent or more in an agribusiness valued at $244
million (whichever is smaller);
? The FIRB taking Australias food security into account in assessing foreign purchases of land and
? Requiring any foreign applicant subject to the national interest test to disclose any direct or indirect
ownership or direct source of influence by a foreign government.
This is an important issue for the people of the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast Hinterland. Our
community knows that the current regime isnt working properly for agricultural land and agribusinesses.
“Food security will become a very significant issue for Australia in the coming years and it is important the
foreign investment regime recognises this.
Mr Buchholz said he encourages local residents and the community to read the Policy Discussion Paper and
to make a submission.
The Policy Discussion Paper is available by clicking here and submissions close on 31 October, 2012.