Reforming foreign investment
Strengthening Australia’s foreign investment framework
The Government is committed to strengthening Australia’s economy. To achieve this, foreign investment is essential and that is why the Government welcomes all foreign investment that is not contrary to our national interest. Australia is open for business, with foreign investment approval granted for $167 billion of proposed investment in 2013‑14, up 23.4 per cent on 2012-13.
Enforcing the rules
A robust regulatory framework reflecting changing demands is essential to maintaining community support and a welcoming investment environment. On 2 May 2015, the Government announced a package of measures to strengthen the foreign investment framework to make sure the rules are enforced.
The ATO will be given responsibility for regulating foreign investment in residential real estate, including stronger enforcement of the rules supported by enhanced data matching systems.
There will be additional and stricter penalties to ensure foreign investors and intermediaries do not profit from breaking the rules.
The introduction of application fees on all foreign investment applications will improve service delivery and ensure Australian taxpayers are no longer funding the administration of the system.
More scrutiny and transparency
The Government is also delivering on its commitment to increase scrutiny and transparency around foreign investment in agriculture, lowering screening thresholds for agricultural land and agribusiness and implementing a comprehensive register of foreign ownership in land.
The Government is consulting further on options to ensure Australia has a modern, streamlined foreign investment system.