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Let's not kid ourselves over Kidman win: reform still needed for more transparency



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Despite welcome announcement on Kidman sale, there's still an urgent need to overhaul foreign investment rules. LET'S NOT KID OURSELVES OVER KIDMAN WIN - REFORM STILL NEEDED FOR MORE

TRANSPARENCY

Senator Nick Xenophon will still be pursuing legislative changes to the foreign investment review framework, despite the welcome announcement that S Kidman & Co will remain in majority Australian ownership.

"To paraphrase Aristotle's 'one swallow does not a summer make', we shouldn't kid ourselves that the Kidman sale means all is well in our foreign investment framework,' said Nick.

Senator Xenophon, a long time advocate of greater transparency and clarity in foreign investment rules has foreshadowed that he will move for reforms to strengthen the current framework by:

• reducing the agricultural threshold from $15 million to $5 million • to have a national interest test that is spelt out in legislation, similar to New Zealand's more transparent laws, that take into account the impact on jobs, competition and national economic well-being

• require public hearings of the Foreign Investment Review Board subject to commercial-in-confidence considerations • require the FIRB to consider any comparable local bids before approving any foreign sale (in the case of the sale of Australia's biggest dairy, the Van Dieman's

Land Company, the FIRB and Treasurer could ignore a comparable local bid led by Tasmanian business woman Jan Cameron)

S

enator Xenophon has also called for an urgent review of superannuation investment rules so that some of the $300 billion of retail and industry super funds invested overseas can be diverted for Australian agriculture.

"The current foreign investment rules are as clear as mud and as weak as water, and we need to do better with a clearer national interest test and incentives for Australian super funds to invest in Australian agriculture," said Nick.

For further details please contact Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677

Received by Parl Library - 10 October 2016