Giving Australians a fair go in agricultural land sales

Australian farmers received great news this week as the Coalition Government announced its plan to ensure Aussies have the opportunity to own a piece of this great land.

Farm land going up for sale will be required to be marketed widely to potential Aussie bidders for a minimum of 30 days and Australian’s must be given an opportunity to participate in the sale process.

This reform builds on the important work done by the Turnbull Government with changes to the Foreign Investment Review Board screening process.

The Turnbull Government understands the Australian community must have confidence that foreign investment will bring real benefits—this includes ensuring that Australians have adequate opportunity to invest in Australian land.

Our agricultural land and water resources are arguably our nation’s most valuable natural assets and the Government knows there have been concerns around the ability of Australians to participate in the sale process of that land, including approval of the sale of S. Kidman & Co Limited.

The Government understands people want transparency when it comes to foreign ownership and these new rules are another step forward to deliver that aim.

This why the Government has brought in a series of checks and balances for foreign investment—they facilitate investment while making sure Australia's national interest is protected.

The Government has reduced the screening threshold for foreign purchases of agricultural land from $252 million to $15 million and established the agricultural land register—giving the first comprehensive baseline picture of foreign ownership of Australian agricultural land.

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