The Treasurer has announced changes to Australia’s foreign investment review framework, effective from 10.30pm AEDT on Sunday 29 March 2020, relating to monetary thresholds and timeframes for reviewing applications. Details are available in our Guidance Note number 53, which addresses the effects of the changes. All material on this website should be read in light of the Treasurer’s announcement.

About FIRB

The Foreign Investment Review Board (the Board) is a non statutory body established in 1976 to advise the Treasurer and the Government on Australia's Foreign Investment Policy (the Policy) and its administration.

The Board's functions are advisory only. Responsibility for making decisions on the Policy and proposals rests with the Treasurer. The Treasury's Foreign Investment Division (the Division) provides secretariat services to the Board and is responsible for the day to day administration of the arrangements.

The role of the Board, including through its secretariat, is to:

  • examine proposed investments in Australia that are subject to the Policy, the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and supporting legislation, and to make recommendations to the Treasurer and other Treasury portfolio ministers on these proposals;
  • advise the Treasurer on the operation of the Policy and the Act;
  • foster an awareness and understanding, both in Australia and abroad, of the Policy and the Act;
  • provide guidance to foreign persons and their representatives or agents on the Policy and the Act;
  • monitor and ensure compliance with the Policy and the Act; and
  • provide advice to the Treasurer on the Policy and related matters.

View further information on the Foreign Investment Review Board's performance framework.

Board membership

As at 30 June 2019, the Board comprised the following members.

  • Mr David Irvine AO (Chair)
  • Steven Skala AO
  • Mr David Peever
  • The Hon Cheryl Edwardes AM
  • Ms Teresa Dyson
  • The Hon Nick Minchin AO
  • Ms Margaret (Meg) McDonald
  • Mr Tom Hamilton

Mr Patrick Secker’s term expired on 16 December 2018. Mr Minchin was appointed on 17 December 2018, and Ms McDonald was appointed on 26 March 2019.

Board members

The Board; (left to right,) Roger Brake, Meg McDonald, Teresa Dyson, Alice Williams, Chair David Irvine, Cheryl Edwardes and Nick Minchin. Absent: David Peever. 15 November 2019, Canberra.

Board membership as of 30 June 2019

Photo of David Irvine

Mr David Irvine AO

Chair and non‑executive member

Chair since 16 April 2017
Member since 3 December 2015

Mr Irvine has significant national security expertise as a former Director‑General of both the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. He is also a former Australian Ambassador to China and former Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

Other roles

Adjunct Professor – Australian Graduate School of Policy and Security at Charles Sturt University
Chair – Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre

Mr Steven Skala

Steven Skala AO

Steven Skala has a distinguished career of service including on the boards of public and private companies, and government-related and not-for-profit organizations. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the law, business and banking.

The holder of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (Honours) degrees from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Civil Laws degree from the University of Oxford,  Steven was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2010 for services to the arts, education, business and commerce.

Steven is Vice Chairman, Australia of Deutsche Bank AG, a position he has held since 2004, is Chairman of the Commonwealth Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation and is a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Technology Investment Advisory Council. Among public companies, he is a former Chairman of Wilson Group Limited, Hexima Limited (of which he is currently an alternate Director) and The Island Food Company Limited, and is a former Director of the Channel TEN Group of companies and Max Capital Group Limited. Between 1982 and 2004, he was a Partner of Australian law firms, Morris Fletcher & Cross (now Minter Ellison) and Arnold Bloch Leibler.

Active beyond banking and commerce, Steven is Chairman of the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Deputy Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies and a Member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. He was previously Chairman of Film Australia Limited, Chairman of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Vice President (Deputy Chairman) of The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a Director of the Australian Ballet.

Photo of David Peever

Mr David Peever

Non-executive member

Member since 1 February 2016

Mr Peever retired as Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia in 2014, after 27 years with the company.

He is a former Vice Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia and Director of the Business Council of Australia. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and chaired the Minister of Defence’s First Principles Review of the Defence Department as well as the subsequent Implementation Oversight Committee. He is a former Director of Melbourne Business School and was the founding Director of the Stars Foundation which enables education and opportunity for indigenous girls. He is also the former Chairman of Cricket Australia.

Other roles

Chairman – Brisbane Airport Corporation Group of Companies
Chair – First Principles Review Oversight Board
Director – Australian Foundation Financial Investment Company
Director – Naval Group Australia

Photo of Cheryl Edwardes

The Hon Cheryl Edwardes AM

Non-executive member

Member since 14 August 2017

Mrs Edwardes brings extensive legal and regulatory experience to the Board. Mrs Edwardes, a solicitor by profession, is a former Minister in the Court Government and was the member for Kingsley for 17 years.

In 1993, she became the first woman to be appointed Attorney General in Western Australia. Mrs Edwardes was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honour 2016 for significant service to the people and Parliament of Western Australia, to the law and to the environment and through executive roles with business, education and community organisations.

Other roles

Commissioner – West Australian Football Commission
Director – VIMY Resources
Director – Flinders Resources
Director – Auscann

Ms Teresa Dyson

Ms Teresa Dyson

Non-executive member

Member since 2 January 2018

Ms Dyson is a non executive director, serving on a range of listed, public and not for profit boards. Ms Dyson has over 25 years of experience as a senior tax adviser, including as a partner at Ashurst and Deloitte, advising on infrastructure, financing, corporate tax issues, mergers and acquisitions activities, the not-for-profit sector, and tax controversy.

She brings corporate and governance experience from a range of sectors. Ms Dyson is a former member and chair of the Board of Taxation.

Other roles

Director – Energy Qld Ltd
Director – Energy Super
Director – Genex Power Ltd
Director – Seven West Media Ltd

Photo of Nick Minchin

The Hon Nick Minchin AO

Non-executive member

Member since 17 December 2018

Mr Minchin brings wide ranging senior leadership credentials, public policy, industry and international experience to the Board.

Recently, Mr Minchin served as the Australian Consul-General in New York.

Mr Minchin held a number of ministerial positions, including as Minister for Industry, Science and Resources from 1998 until 2001 and Minister for Finance and Administration from 2001 until 2007. While in office, he held the posts of Leader of the Government in the Senate, and Vice President of the Executive Council. Mr Minchin was elected to the Australian Senate for South Australia in July 1993 and served until June 2011.

Margaret McDonald

Ms Margaret (Meg) McDonald

Non-executive member

Board member since 26 March 2019.

Ms McDonald has extensive experience in senior public and private sector roles, in Australia and internationally.

Ms McDonald has previously held a number of executive positions including Chief Operating Officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, CEO of Low Carbon Australia Limited (LCAL) and positions with global resources and metals manufacturer Alcoa.

Ms McDonald was Deputy Ambassador to the United States in Washington DC between 1998 and 2002 and as Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment between 1996 and 1998.

Ms McDonald holds an Honours Degree in Applied Science from the University of NSW.

Other roles

Director – Australian Renewable Energy Agency
Director – Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living
Trustee – The Nature Conservancy

Photo of Mr Tom Hamilton

Mr Tom Hamilton

Executive Member of the Board since 19 October 2020

The position of executive member is held by the Head of Treasury’s Foreign Investment Division. The executive member provides the link between the Board and the Treasury, which provides support to the Board.