Submission to the Government's Options Paper: Strengthening Australia’s Foreign Investment Framework

This submission provides the Business Council’s views on agriculture only. It does not offer any views on proposed changes to overseas investment in residential real estate.

It is appropriate for the government to develop a methodical, evidence-driven response to community concerns about overseas investment, but this must be done without compromising investment opportunities.

The Business Council supports the government’s proposal to establish an agricultural land register provided it does not impose an additional cost on Australian businesses or those seeking to invest. But on other proposals the government needs to be cautious.

The Business Council is particularly concerned by the proposal to impose transaction fees on all overseas business investments.

The government has recently completed free trade agreements with three of our top four trading partners and has stated publicly that Australia is ‘open for business’. This stance should not be compromised by imposing measures that will unnecessarily hinder overseas  investment.