New reforms to strengthen Australia’s foreign investment framework
The Nationals’ Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has welcomed the joint announcement made by the Prime Minister and Treasurer over the weekend to strengthen Australia’s foreign investment framework governing foreign purchases of prime agricultural land.
“It is vital that we understand who owns Australian land and that the public has access to reliable and accurate information about levels of foreign ownership.” Mr McCormack said.
“Foreign investment has helped build Australia but there must be strict parameters and the Government's policy will achieve that.”
After an extensive consultation process, the Government has announced a comprehensive package of measures to strengthen the Foreign Investment Review Board.
“In February the Government announced it would establish a comprehensive register of foreign ownership of agricultural land to commence from 1 July 2015. This will now include a stocktake of existing land ownership to provide a complete overview to the Australian public,” Mr McCormack said.
Stricter penalties and application fees will be introduced to crack down on foreign investors who break the rules and to ensure Australian taxpayers no longer have to foot the bill to administer the screening of foreign investment applications.
“The Coalition Government has listened and more importantly responded to community concern about the growing levels of foreign investment in Australia.”
“These historic reforms provide a strong response to a decade long campaign and fulfil a commitment made by The Nationals prior to the 2013 Federal Election.”
“This is a measure I've actively pursued since first being elected. It's important for our region and the nation that we have a clear register of foreign ownership in Australia,” Mr McCormack said.