The Queensland Government has announced that it will introduce a 3% Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (‘AFAD’) to be paid by foreign persons who purchase certain land in Queensland that is, or will be, solely or primarily used for residential purposes from 1 October 2016.

The move comes as part of the 2016-2017 Budget measures and will apply only if liability to pay transfer duty, landholder duty or corporate trustee duty arises in respect of a transaction on or after 1 October 2016.

The AFAD has been introduced by the Government “to ensure that foreign purchasers of residential land, who benefit from Government services and infrastructure, make a contribution to their delivery” as they are “not necessarily subject to some of the other major sources of State Government revenue”.

The Duties and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (Qld) (‘the Bill’) was introduced to Parliament to amend the Duties Act 2001 (Qld). The Bill was passed on 17 June 2016 and will now be presented for royal assent after which it will become law.

In other Budget measures, it has been announced the existing family farm transfer duty concession for the familial transfer of farm businesses will be extended from 1 July 2016 to remove the requirement that the transaction be by way of gift (meaning the concession will now also be available where consideration is paid for the transfer).

The Government has also made a commitment to temporarily increase the First Home Owners’ Grant from $15,000 to $20,000 to assist first home buyers to enter the housing market. The grant will be available for contracts signed between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017 for new houses, units or townhouses valued at less than $750,000.