Greenfields, cash cows and the regulation of foreign investment in Australia

August 2021

© Commonwealth of Australia 2021
ISBN: 978-1-76093-248-0

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Acronyms and Abbreviations

Executive Summary

List of Recommendations

Chapter 1—Introduction

  Referral and conduct of the inquiry
  Australia’s approach to foreign investment
  Temporary zero-dollar threshold
  Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975
  Foreign investment regime in comparison
  The Treasurer and foreign investment agencies
  Previous inquiry reports
  Structure of the report

Chapter 2—Foreign investment proposals and the national interest

  Presumption of benefit
  Potential positive and negative effects of foreign investment
  A more ambitious national interest test
  A positive national interest test
  Assessing applications against the national interest: voluntary undertakings
  Can Australia’s foreign investment framework be changed

Chapter 3—Regulating foreign investment: assessing applications and applying conditions

  The Treasury as the regulator
  Characteristics of sound regulation
  Foreign investment regulatory performance framework
  Treasury’s capacity to assess applications
  Applying conditions to foreign investment approvals

Chapter 4—Regulating foreign investment: compliance and enforcement

  Principles of regulatory compliance and enforcement and Treasury practice
  Treasury’s regulatory load
  Foreign investment compliance framework
  Outcomes of Treasury monitoring and compliance activities
  The Treasury’s information management capabilities
  The extent of the Treasury’s regulatory role

Chapter 5—Transparency in foreign investment

  Protected information provisions
  Views on foreign investment secrecy
  Practices of other regulators
  Practices in other jurisdictions
  Other transparency issues

Chapter 6—Committee comment

Dissenting report by the Coalition Senators

Additional comments by Senator Rex Patrick : A little light over here, please

  Publication of Applications and Approvals
  Corporate structure
  Open undertakings

Additional comments by the Australian Greens : Still in the dark


Appendix 1—Submissions and additional information

Appendix 2—Public hearings

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Standing Committees on Economics
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3540