National Farmers' Federation

Transparency of foreign investment welcome by farmers

President of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), Brent Finlay, has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to increase scrutiny over foreign investment in Australian agriculture.
The NFF has long been calling for greater oversight from the Foreign Investment Review Board and a transparent register of foreign ownership of agricultural land.
“Today’s announcement of the register is a welcome next step in progressing our policy agenda, delivering on a measure the NFF has long called for,” Mr Finlay said.
“Foreign investment in Australian agriculture is welcome; it is essential for our continued growth and future prosperity. We are open for business.
“However, proper scrutiny of investment proposals and a transparent register form the necessary architecture for successful and sustained investment, and ensure that investment is in Australia’s best interest,” Mr Finlay said.
The Federal Government also announced that they would lower the screening threshold on foreign ownership of agricultural land, which will drop from $252 million to $15 million.
The move will mean that any foreign purchase of agricultural land in Australia, worth $15 million or more, must gain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
“In addition, the Government must ensure that the Australian Taxation Office is properly resourced to deliver the long-promised register. While work will commence in July to collect information, a clear time frame for when this information will be publicly accessible is a must,” Mr Finlay said.
“There are still some key issues to iron out – such as foreign investment in infrastructure, agricultural supply chains and water. These are the key components of a successful model, and must be addressed.
“We want to see foreign investment that serves Australian interests, and we commend the government on taking this step forward,” Mr Finlay said.

Add comment