Joyce welcomes stronger foreign ownership controls
25 February 2015
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister and the Treasurer on strengthening controls on foreign ownership.
This comes on the back of an earlier government announcement that the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) review threshold will be reduced from $252 to $15 million for agricultural land purchases, and Labor’s unilateral desire to increase the threshold from $252 million to over $1 billion before they have to tell anyone what they’re up to.
The Coalition Government is responding to the wishes of the Australian people as ultimately we are their servants and this is their country, and the Australian people are very concerned about who owns what in their country and see this issue as a high priority.
The Coalition went to the last election with a clear and unambiguous commitment to improve our oversight of foreign ownership and we intend to fulfil the commitments we made to the Australian people.
The global environment is different today – there is a massive pool of liquid funds searching for a home to invest. Australia remains a great place to invest but it must be on our terms and not just any terms. When Labor talks about a $1 billion limit on agricultural land without referral to the Foreign Investment Review Board for any foreigner wishing to buy land – they really mean foreign ownership on any terms which I can assure them does not pass the pub test.
I doubt whether Senator Wong or Mr Fitzgibbon will pass their own back bench test on this.
I call on Senator Wong, Mr Fitzgibbon as well as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of Australians about foreign ownership and to ditch their plan to lift the FIRB limit to over $1 billion.