Foreign Investments now Requiring Federal Government Approval

On 29 March 2020 the Federal Treasurer posted a media release relating to changes to the foreign investment framework.   Further administrative details to give effect to this announcement will be published on the FIRB website in due course. In the meantime, please also see the FIRB website summarising these changes and the FIRB media release for more information.

Media Release excerpt:

The Morrison Government is today announcing temporary changes to the foreign investment review framework that are designed to protect Australia’s national interest as we deal with the economic implications arising from the spread of the coronavirus.

Effective from this date of announcement, all proposed foreign investments into Australia subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) will require approval, regardless of value or the nature of the foreign investor.

This is not an investment freeze. Australia is open for business and recognises investment at this time can be beneficial if in the national interest. 

The temporary change will be achieved by reducing to $0 the monetary screening thresholds for all foreign investments under the Act. By temporarily reducing the foreign investment thresholds, the Australian Government will ensure appropriate oversight over all proposed foreign investment during this time.

To ensure sufficient time for screening applications, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) will be working with existing and new applicants to extend timeframes for reviewing applications from 30 days to up to six months. … Read more here.