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 and Trade Policy 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.
The Board currently comprises six part-time Members and a full-time Executive Member.
Mr Brian Wilson was appointed to the Board on 10 December 2009 and appointed Chairman on 16 April 2012. He is also Chancellor of University of Technology Sydney, a non-executive director of Bell Financial Group and a member of the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. He was a member of the Commonwealth Government Review of Australia’s Superannuation System, of the Specialist Reference Group on the Taxation of Multinational Enterprises in Australia and of the ATO Superannuation Reform Steering Committee. Mr Wilson retired in 2009 as a Managing Director of the global investment bank Lazard, after co-founding the firm in Australia in 2004 and was previously a Vice-Chairman of Citigroup Australia and its predecessor companies.
Mr Michael D’Ascenzo AO was appointed to the Board with effect from 2 January 2013. Mr D’Ascenzo is recognised internationally for his leadership and expertise in taxation, administration, governance and policy. Mr D’Ascenzo was Commissioner of Taxation from January 2006 to December 2012. In January 2010 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to public administration, and in 2012 he was awarded the Chartered Accountants’ Federal Government Leader of the Year. Mr D’Ascenzo is currently also a non-executive director of Australia Post and a member of the Clean Energy Regulator, as well as an adjunct professor at UNSW and a professorial fellow at Melbourne University.
Mr Patrick Secker, appointed on 17 December 2013, brings extensive agricultural sector experience to the Board. He was a primary producer, agricultural retailer and company director before entering politics as the member for the rural South Australian electorate of Barker. Mr Secker has a degree in economics and has participated in a number of parliamentary agricultural committees over many years. His parliamentary career included serving positions as Opposition Whip and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. Mr Secker has also served as an elected member in local government for 11 years including deputy mayor, chairman of various committees including planning, library, development plan and works. He also chaired the Southern and Hills LGA and co-chaired the State Government Mt Lofty Ranges Strategy Review.
Ms Alice Williams was appointed to the Board on 16 July 2015. Ms Williams has over 25 years of senior management and Board level experience in corporate and Government sectors. Ms Williams was previously a Director at JP Morgan, NM Rothschild and Ansett Australia. She has been a consultant to listed corporations in Australia and the Gulf States and State and Federal regulatory bodies. She is a former director of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, State Trustees and a Commissioner of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission. Ms Williams’ current directorships include Cooper Energy Ltd, Equity Trustees Ltd, Djerriwarrh Investments Ltd, Defence Health, Racing Victoria and Barristers Chambers Limited.
Mr David Irvine was appointed to the Board on 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. He is currently a visiting Fellow of the National Security College at the Australian National University.
Mr David Peever was appointed to the Board on 1 February 2016. Mr Peever retired as Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia in October 2014 after 27 years with Rio Tinto. Mr Peever is also Chairman of Cricket Australia and a Director of the International Cricket Council, a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Foundation Investment Company and the Melbourne Business School. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and the Chief of Defence’s Gender Equality Advisory Board. He chaired the Minister of Defence’s First Principles Review of Defence and following the acceptance of the review by Government now chairs the Oversight Board which helps guide implementation of the Review’s recommendations. Mr Peever is also a Non-Executive Director of Stars Foundation.
Mr Rob Donelly commenced his appointment as Executive Member of the Board on 15 September 2014. Over the past 15 years, Mr Donelly has performed a range of senior financial and policy roles, in both the ACT and Australian Public Service. He served as Treasury’s Chief Financial Officer from 2008 to 2012, and worked on income tax and superannuation policy from 2013 until his appointment in 2014.