Senate debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Questions without Notice

Foreign Investment

2:30 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

I don't agree with the proposition that the relevant powers that Senator Hanson refers to are weak. I do agree that foreign investment is very important for the future economic development of Australia, as it has been important for our past economic development.

One of the reasons why we are so committed to ensuring that we have an internationally competitive tax regime and that we are internationally competitive overall in terms of our policy settings is so that we continue to be able to attract foreign investment into Australia to help develop the Australian economy to its full potential, to create more jobs for hard-working Australians and to ensure that families here in Australia have the best possible opportunity to get ahead.

But, as I have also indicated in response to a question earlier this week, of course any relevant foreign investment proposal that has got implications for our national interest needs to be properly assessed to ensure it's not contrary to our national interest. We have specific regulatory arrangements in place as a result of legislation passed through this chamber earlier this year to deal with critical infrastructure in particular, to make sure there are proper processes in place to protect the national interest, to protect the public interest, in relation to critical infrastructure.

It is very important with these things for us to get the balance right and ensure we continue to be an attractive destination for foreign investment. This will help us to continue to develop our economy and ensure that Australia is as strong as it possibly can be, creating opportunities for Australians to get ahead, but also making sure that, as appropriate, we protect our national interest and we ensure that we don't receive foreign investments that would be contrary to the national interest.


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