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.

Statement by Mr Brian Wilson, Chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board

To ensure there can be no question as to the integrity of Australia’s foreign investment review system I have decided to suspend the commencement of my proposed role with The Carlyle Group until April 2017, when my term as part-time non-executive chairman of the FIRB expires.

On 5 September it was announced that I would take up a non-executive role as a senior advisor to The Carlyle Group, in addition to my various other private sector and non-executive board positions.

The proposed appointment was pre-cleared with the Australian government on the basis that the normal protocols would deal readily with the very rare conflicts between such a role with The Carlyle Group and my role as chairman of the FIRB. These protocols are long-standing and accommodate fully the inevitable issues that arise when individuals from the private sector hold part-time roles on government boards.

However, having noted concern in some quarters and to ensure appropriate and due public confidence in the foreign investment review system, I have decided to take this extra measure.

Should a matter involving The Carlyle Group come before the FIRB prior to April 2017 I will of course recuse myself from any involvement.

5 October 2016