The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Act 2021 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 7 December 2021.
It expands the number of critical infrastructure assets under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, with flow-on implications for notification requirements under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975.
Having regard to the statutory timeframes of 30 days for assessing notifications under the FATA, and up to a further 10 days for receiving no objection notifications in response, investors are advised that notifications lodged for the remainder of the year are expected to be finalised next year. Treasury is also currently receiving a high volume of notifications, reflecting elevated M&A activity across the economy. Wherever possible, Treasury will continue to prioritise and meet genuine commercial deadlines during the period ahead.
The Treasury has today provided further guidance for investors in relation to their compliance and reporting obligations under the foreign investment framework and the application of Treasury’s compliance and enforcement powers on the FIRB website.
As noted in the FIRB news item of 22 February 2021, the Treasury is conducting an evaluation of the new foreign investment reforms which commenced on 1 January 2021. To help inform this evaluation, the Treasury is now inviting interested stakeholders to submit written submissions on the operation and performance of the reforms. Submissions close on 31 August 2021.
Further information on how to make a submission is available on the Treasury website.
The Treasury has today updated the Guidance Notes available on the FIRB website. The update aims to provide greater clarity to investors about their obligations under the foreign investment framework, including by addressing a number of issues identified since major reforms to the framework commenced on 1 January 2021.
Foreign investment application fees have been indexed for the 2021‑22 year. Revised fees will apply to applications made and notices given as of 1 July 2021. The fee schedule and further information on the application of fees is provided in Guidance 10.
In 2019-20, over 8,200 foreign investment applications were approved, representing potential investment of $195.5 billion. This included 137 zero dollar applications with a value of $2.7 billion, following the Government’s decision to reduce screening thresholds to $0 on 29 March 2020 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The 2019-20 Annual Report can be found on the FIRB website.
The FIRB Application Portal will be unavailable due to maintenance/updates on Friday 21 May 2021 from 6.00pm to 11.30pm AEST.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Issuing of Fee estimates
Fee estimates will be automatically calculated on the submission page for all applications except Exemption Certificates. Applicants will no longer need to provide their own fee estimate and explanation.
This will be in effect from 9.00am Monday 24 May.
The FIRB Application Portal will be unavailable due to maintenance on Friday 12 March 2021 from 9.00pm to 10.30pm AEST.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
This is the third report of the Water Register (Water Report 2020) and includes water entitlement registrations received from foreign persons between 1 July 2017 and 31 July 2020 for water entitlements held to 30 June 2020.
The Register, which is maintained by the Australian Taxation Office, has been established to provide greater transparency about levels of foreign ownership of agricultural land in Australia.
In accordance with section 4 of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020, the Treasury is conducting an evaluation of the foreign investment reforms that commenced on 1 January 2021. The review is required to be completed by 10 December 2021.
Further information on the evaluation process, including a copy of the terms of reference and details on stakeholder consultation, is available on the Treasury website
The 2019-20 Foreign Investment Regulator Performance Framework Report is now available.
Under the Australian Government’s Regulator Performance Framework, regulators must undertake an annual self-assessment of their performance against six key outcome-based performance indicators (KPIs).