Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Economics References Committee; Reference
I seek leave to amend business of the Senate notice of motion No. 3 standing in my name for today, proposing a reference to the Economics References Committee concerning the review of foreign investment proposals.
I move the motion as amended:
That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 7 September 2020:
The review of foreign investment proposals against the national interest test, with particular reference to:
(a) the protection of Australia's market-based system from manipulation that would benefit proposed foreign investment;
(b) the assessment of the impact of proposed foreign investment on market concentration and competition;
(c) the imposition of conditions on foreign investors;
(d) the extent to which the risk that foreign investment proposals are being used for money laundering is examined;
(e) the role of the Foreign Investment Review Board; and
(f) any other related matters.
Foreign investment supports economic growth and expands trade and investment opportunities for both Australian and foreign businesses. The Foreign Investment Review Board assesses applications against the foreign investment framework, which strikes a balance between ensuring Australia remains an attractive investment destination, maintaining community confidence in foreign investment and protecting Australia's interests. In formulating its advice to the Treasurer, the board consults with other government agencies, such as national security agencies, the Critical Infrastructure Centre and the ATO. Where appropriate, the board will consider matters of market manipulation, concentration and competition in consultation with the ACCC and matters relating to money laundering in consultation with law enforcement agencies and AUSTRAC. We note that the Senate committee inquired into the foreign investment review framework between 2015 and 2016. The government's response was tabled on 28 March 2017 and addressed all recommendations in the report.