On 30 June 2014 the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) announced changes to Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy (Policy).
Who is affected by the change in Policy?
The revised Policy will affect any foreign person that currently holds an interest in agricultural land.
What is the change in Policy?
The Policy provides that all foreign persons that currently hold an interest in agricultural land must register their interest with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by 31 December 2015.
What is agricultural land for the purpose of the Policy?
The Policy defines agricultural land as land that is used, or that could reasonably be used, for a primary production business. Therefore land may fall within this definition even if it is not currently being used for primary production.
The definition of agricultural land in the Policy is broader than the definition of rural land in the Foreign Acquisition and Takeovers Act 1975 which is limited to land that is used wholly and exclusively for carrying on a business of primary production.