Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
In February 2015, the Australian Government
(Government) released the 'Strengthening
Australia's Foreign Investment Framework' Options Paper
(Options Paper) outlining a proposed new foreign
investment compliance and fee regime (Regime).
On 2 May 2015, the Government announced that legislation will be
introduced in the Spring Sitting of Parliament that implements the
Regime effective as of 1 December 2015.
The 2015-2016 Commonwealth Budget (Budget) has
included the anticipated revenue that will be raised and
expenditure that will be outlaid in implementing the Regime,
including the following:
from 1 December 2015, an application fee on all real estate,
business and agricultural foreign investment proposals will raise
an estimated $735 million in revenue over four years;
the Government will provide $19.7 million to the Department of
Treasury and $47.5 million to the Australian Tax Office over four
years to improve compliance and strengthen the enforcement of the
the Government will provide $0.6 million to the Department of
Agriculture to advise on specific agricultural foreign investment
the Government will provide $15.8 million over four years to
establish a Treasury office in Sydney to enable the Treasury to
engage with the private sector more effectively, including on
foreign investment issues.
In addition, the Government has indicated it will introduce a
register of foreign ownership of agricultural land and residential
land, however no revenue was specifically allocated in the Budget
in this regard.
The Regime will also strengthen the criminal penalties under the
Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) and
introduce a new civil penalties regime. Projected revenue raised
from the new civil penalties regime was not included in the
Not all issues raised in the Options Paper have as yet been
addressed by the Government. More information on these issues
should become available once the Government presents its draft
legislation to Parliament.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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