Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 exposure draft released

On Friday 31 July the Treasurer announced the release of the exposure draft of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 for public consultation. The exposure draft Bill amends the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 to implement the reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework announced on 5 June 2020.

This consultation reaffirms Australia’s commitment to an open, transparent and non-discriminatory foreign investment review framework that also protects Australia’s national interest. The Exposure Draft Bill, Regulation and an Explanatory Memorandum can be found on the Treasury consultation page.

The Treasury welcome written submissions to before 5:00pm on 31 August 2020.

Further information

Notice to Commercial Practitioners – COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Commercial Leases) Legislation

The Society thanks all practitioners involved in the submissions process.  Submissions were sent to Consumer, Building & Occupational Services (CBOS) at the Department of Justice in May 2020, copying in the Hon Elise Archer MP. 

Letter of Response from Government 28 July 2020 (table summary of LST submissions and CBOS responses)

The Society is preparing a supplementary list of scenario-specific questions subsequently received from the profession, which will include commentary. 

Regulations Now in Force

The regulations were made by notice in the Government Gazette on 24 July 2020.

Reference links:

COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Commercial Leases) Regulations 2020

COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Commercial Leases) Act 2020

Webinar – COVID-19 Commercial Tenancies Relief Legislation in Practice – Tuesday 18 August 2020 3.30-5pm (note new date)

Join the Society and CBOS on 18 August for a webinar presentation on the legislation, including an examination of key sections followed by case study hypotheticals and a full and frank panel discussion of some of the more particularly problematic aspects of the legislation in practice.  Program details coming soon.

Attendees are encouraged to email comments, questions and scenarios in advance to (or prepare for copying and pasting into the Zoom chat function during the event).

Notice from the SRO

The SRO will soon publish revised versions of the existing Transferor and Transferee transaction forms for property transfer duties. Currently, each of those categories has separate forms for i) natural persons, and ii) companies, government bodies.

The new versions consolidate data collection by combining the questions about natural persons and companies/government bodies into one form each for ‘Transferor’ and ‘Transferee’.

Our aim is to publish the documents during the week commencing 3 August 2020. We will contact [the Law Society] again as soon as the documents are ‘live’.

The SRO will also communicate the information directly to TRO Agents by email, message users through the TRO Bulletin Board, and notify our email service subscribers (for property transfer duties).

Angelo Pavlides
Deputy Commissioner of State Revenue
28 July 2020