Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Terms of Reference

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8 January 2021

In accordance with section 4 of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020, the Treasury is to conduct an evaluation of the operation of the reforms implemented by the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment Act 2020 (together, the foreign investment reform Acts).

The Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for the evaluation, but in accordance with section 5 of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020, the Secretary may delegate their powers and functions with regards to the evaluation to another person in the department.

Scope of review

The evaluation will assess the reforms implemented by the foreign investment reform Acts, including:

  • legislative instruments made under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Act 2015 to implement the foreign investment reform Acts; and
  • administrative changes made to implement the foreign investment reform Acts.

The evaluation will consider:

  • the impact that the foreign investment reform Acts and their implementation have had on foreign investment in Australia and the broader Australian economy; and
  • whether the right balance is struck between welcoming foreign investment into Australia and protecting Australia’s national interest.

Process

The evaluation is to commence as soon as practical, and by no later than 10 January 2021. The evaluation, and written report, is to respect the confidentiality provisions of Part 7 the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, and other privacy laws, as applicable.

The review will include consultation with relevant stakeholders. It will also take into account the unusual economic and policy circumstances in which the reforms have commenced, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the evaluation is starting soon after the reforms commence, these Terms of Reference will be reviewed after six months.

The Secretary of the Treasury (or delegate, if applicable) is to provide a written report of the evaluation to the Treasurer by 10 December 2021.

The Treasurer is to cause a copy of that report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the report is given to the Treasurer.

The Secretary of the Treasury (or delegate, if applicable) is to also publish a copy of the report on the Treasury’s website by no later than the day on which the report is tabled.