Foreign investment is important for Australia’s long term economic success, stability and prosperity.
However, risks to Australia’s national interest, particularly national security, have increased as a result of developments including rapid technological change and changes in the international security environment.
The national security test provides the Treasurer with the ability to address new and emerging national security risks from foreign investment. The national security test:
- requires mandatory notification of proposed investments in national security land, interests in exploration tenements over national security land, a proposed direct investment in a national security business or starting a new national security business;
- allows investments that are not notified to be ‘called‑in’ for review on national security grounds;
- allows investors who choose to voluntarily notify to receive certainty from being subject to ‘call‑in’; and
- provides a last resort power, which, in exceptional circumstances, permits the Treasurer to impose conditions, vary existing conditions, or, as a last resort, require the divestment of any approved investment where national security risks emerge. This power is subject to a number of safeguards.