Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Major reforms to the Foreign Investment Review Framework

This consultation process has now been completed. Submissions available
Date
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Consultation Type
Exposure Draft

The Government is seeking stakeholder views on the exposure draft of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020.

The exposure draft Bill gives effect to the major reforms to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 announced on 5 June 2020. The reforms update Australia’s foreign investment review framework in three broad ways: addressing national security risks, strengthening compliance and streamlining investment in non-sensitive businesses.

The exposure draft Regulation will be released in two parts. The consultation schedule for each measure is set out in the Implementation Roadmap.

Implementation Roadmap - PDF 1MB

Implementation Roadmap - DOCX 76KB

Exposure Draft Legislation

The exposure draft Bill includes provisions for the new national security powers – including the call in and the national security last resort power – integrity and technical amendments, and provisions to improve compliance and enforcement. The Government is committed to extensive public consultation to inform the final design of the Bill before its introduction to Parliament in the spring sitting.

Further details are contained in the Explanatory Memorandum.

Exposure Draft Bill (National security reviews and last resort power) - PDF 444KB

Exposure Draft Bill (National security reviews and last resort power) - DOCX 79KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Technical amendments) - PDF 352KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Technical amendments) - DOCX 52KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Improving compliance and additional enforcement tools) - PDF 557KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Improving compliance and additional enforcement tools) - DOCX 91KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Register of Foreign Ownership) - PDF 291KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Register of Foreign Ownership) - DOCX 68KB

Exposure Draft Bill (A fairer and simpler framework for foreign investment fees) - PDF 275KB

Exposure Draft Bill (A fairer and simpler framework for foreign investment fees) - DOCX 65KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Fees Imposition Bill) - PDF 441KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Fees Imposition Bill) - DOCX 121KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Integrity Amendments) - PDF 531KB

Exposure Draft Bill (Integrity Amendments) - DOCX 57KB

Explanatory Memorandum - PDF 1.11MB

Explanatory Memorandum - DOCX 163KB

Exposure Draft Regulation (Definition of National Security Business)

The first part of the draft amendments to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulation 2015 provides the details of the definition of national security business. The remainder of the exposure draft Regulation, including the time limit for the call in power, streamlining measures (including investor exemption certificates) and other technical amendments, will be released separately in September for consultation.

Further details are contained in the Explanatory Memorandum (Chapter 1).

Exposure Draft Regulation (Definition of National Security Business) - PDF 402KB

Exposure Draft Regulation (Definition of National Security Business) - DOCX 149KB

Explanatory Memorandum (Chapter 1) - PDF 422KB

Explanatory Memorandum (Chapter 1) - DOCX 79KB

Consultation

We are calling for interested stakeholders to submit views and feedback to FIRBStakeholders@treasury.gov.au before 5:00pm on 31 August 2020. 

Treasury will host online public information sessions, and we welcome stakeholders to register your interest to attend a session.

Information Sessions Schedule
Date Time Topic Registration
Wednesday 26 August 2020 11.00am-12.00pm Foreign Investment Reforms - Information Session #1 Register Now
Thursday 27 August 2020 10.00am-11.00am Foreign Investment Reforms - Information Session #2 Register Now

Proposed reforms to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018

On 12 August 2020, the Department of Home Affairs released a consultation paper on protecting critical infrastructure and systems of national significance. The paper proposes an enhanced regulatory framework by amending the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (the SOCI Act). 

The proposed reforms to the SOCI Act may affect aspects of the reforms to the foreign investment review framework. In particular, the definition of national security business as proposed in the foreign investment exposure draft regulation includes entities regulated under the SOCI Act.

Therefore, stakeholders with an interest in the foreign investment reforms may also wish to engage with the Department of Home Affairs’ consultation process.

 

Submissions

54 submissions were received for this consultation, including 14 confidential submissions.

Amazon Web Services - pdf 982.78 KB
Banki Haddock Fiora - pdf 304.58 KB
BGIS Pty Ltd - pdf 233.78 KB
Butler, Mark Mr - pdf 320.84 KB
Circular Head Farms - pdf 447.04 KB
Clean Energy Council - pdf 240.72 KB
CPA Australia - pdf 125.87 KB
Holding Redlich - pdf 659.57 KB
IP Group Australia - pdf 282.33 KB
Law Society of NSW - pdf 215.53 KB
NSW Farmers - pdf 383.06 KB
Q-CTRL - pdf 182.63 KB
Queensland government - pdf 1.51 MB
Victorian Government - pdf 225.01 KB