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.

Guidance & resources

The Government has strengthened Australia's foreign investment framework to make it more modern, simple and effective, and to ensure that investors comply with the rules.

The reforms include:

  • Stricter penalties for breaching the rules, including the introduction of civil penalties.
  • The ATO, levering off their expertise and information matching systems, will now regulate foreign investment in residential real estate.
  • Application fees to improve service delivery and ensure that Australian taxpayers no longer have to fund the cost of administering the system.
  • Increased scrutiny and transparency around foreign investment in agriculture.
  • The reforms are not about discouraging investment – rather, they improve the integrity of the framework and ensure that the rules are properly enforced.
  • Investors that comply with the rules will benefit from reduced complexity through clearer legislation, the removal of routine cases from the system and better service delivery through more engagement by the Foreign Investment Review Board.