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Government forces foreign nationals to sell over $100m worth of illegally acquired Australian real estate



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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP Treasurer

MEDIA STATEMENT

Monday 6 February 2017

GOVERNMENT FORCES FOREIGN NATIONALS TO SELL OVER $100M WORTH OF ILLEGALLY ACQUIRED AUSTRALIAN REAL ESTATE

Treasurer the Hon. Scott Morrison has ordered the forced sale of a further 15 Australian residential properties held by foreign nationals in breach of the foreign investment framework, taking the total number of forced sales to 61, with a combined value of $107 million.

The 15 latest properties are located in Victoria and Queensland, with a combined purchase price of more than $14 million. The foreign owners come from a range of countries including China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The Turnbull Government is committed to enforcing our rules so that foreign nationals illegally holding Australian property are identified and their illegal holdings relinquished.

The forced sale of over $100 million worth of Australia property underscores the Turnbull Government’s determination to enforce our rules so foreign nationals illegally holding Australian property are identified and illegal holdings relinquished. Under the previous Labor government, no foreign nationals were forced to divest illegally held Australian property.

A further 36 foreign nationals have sold properties during the course of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) investigations, showing improved compliance with the rul es and a strengthening of the enforcement program.

The foreign nationals in the latest group of forced disposals purchased their properties without Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval and in some cases held multiple established properties in breach of the rules. The ATO identified these breaches through data matching programs as well as using information provided by the public.

The ATO has detected more than 570 foreign nationals who have breached the rules. This has resulted in forced sales, self-disposals, variations to previously approved FIRB applications and retrospective approvals with strict conditions. Breaches of these conditions will result in civil penalties or criminal prosecution.

Under the Government’s enhanced penalty regime the ATO has issued 388 penalty notices to foreign nationals in breach of the rules, attracting penalties of more than $2 million. Penalty notices have been

issued to people who have failed to obtain FIRB approval before buying property as well as for breaching a condition of previously approved applications.

Another aspect of the foreign investment reforms announced by the Coalition Government was the introduction of fees for applications to the FIRB to ensure Australian taxpayers no longer foot the bill for screening foreign investment applications. Since introducing the new fees on 1 December 2015 more than $140 million has been collected to assist with this important program of work.

The Government’s policy to channel foreign investment into new dwellings creates additional jobs in the construction industry, increases housing supply and supports economic growth.

Further information: Julian Leembruggen 0400 813 253; Kate Williams 0429 584 675

** full list of divested properties is attached **

**Most recent properties to be divested are highlighted in blue**

Location of property Purchase price Investor nationality

Properties to be divested 1. Point Piper, New South Wales $39,000,000 China 2. Eight Mile Plains, Queensland $590,000 Taiwan 3. Fairfield, New South Wales $750,000 China

4. Eastwood, New South Wales $1,860,000 China 5. Mosman, New South Wales $855,000 Philippines

6. Kewdale, Western Australia $262,000 Saudi Arabia

7. Kewdale, Western Australia $152,000 Saudi Arabia

8. Underdale, South Australia $880,000 China

9. Elizabeth Bay, New South Wales $8,100,000 United Kingdom 10. Stretton, Queensland $685,000 China

11. Ardross, Western Australia $320,000 Indonesia

12. Labrador, Queensland $265,000 Singapore

13. Helensvale, Queensland $2,500,000 China

14. Carlton, Victoria $245,000 Hong Kong

15. Carlton, Victoria $225,000 Hong Kong

16. Carlton, Victoria $585,000 China

17. Springvale, Victoria $802,000 China

18. Bellingen, New South Wales $154,000 Germany 19. Hawthorn East, Victoria $5,200,000 China

20. Eight Mile Plains, Queensland $780,000 Chinese Taipei 21. Windsor, New South Wales $518,000 Canada

22. Park Ridge, Queensland $665,000 USA

23. Crestmead, Queensland $250,000 USA

24. Robertson, Queensland $343,000 USA

25. Mount Waverley, Victoria $5,100,000 Malaysia 26. Carlton, Victoria $215,000 China

27. Blackburn, Victoria $525,500 India

28. Allawah, New South Wales $861,319 China

29. Brighton, Victoria $5,600,000 China

30. Devonport, Tasmania $97,000 United Kingdom

31. Berwick, Victoria $1,610,000 China

32. Brookfield, Victoria $2,000,000 China

33. Melton West, Victoria $950,000 China

34. Lower Geelong, Victoria $433,500 United Kingdom

35. Annandale, Queensland $489,395 Papua New Guinea

36. Wantirna, Victoria $576,000 China

37. Sydney, New South Wales $1,680,000 United Kingdom 38. Melbourne, Victoria $695,000 Malaysia

39. Melbourne, Victoria $660,000 Malaysia

40. Boambee, New South Wales $210,000 United Kingdom 41. Langford, Western Australia $327,000 China

2

Location of property Purchase price Investor nationality

Properties to be divested 42. Manly, New South Wales $1,100,000 Canada

43. Manly, New South Wales $1,500,000 Canada

44. Kew, Victoria $850,000 China

45. Speers Point, New South Wales $360,000 United Kingdom 46. Blackburn, Victoria $885,000 China

47. Carnegie, Victoria $420,000 China

48. Hoppers Crossing, Victoria $1,000,000 Iran

49. Torquay, Victoria $350,000 United Kingdom

50. Lara, Victoria $240,000 United Kingdom

51. Ocean Grove, Victoria $432,000 United Kingdom

52. Melbourne, Victoria $476,000 China

53. Delacombe, Victoria $275,000 China

54. Craigieburn, Victoria $367,000 India

55. Burpengary, Queensland $425,000 Malaysia

56. Melbourne, Victoria $470,000 China

57. Doncaster, Victoria $1,110,000 China

58. Rockbank, Victoria $5,900,000 India

59 Kurunjang, Victoria $140,000 Germany

60 Canterbury, Victoria $3,008,889 China

61 Eagleby, Queensland $270,000 Indonesia

TOTAL VALUE OF PROPERTIES USING PURCHASE PRICE: $107,594,603