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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8683

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (20:00): That is exactly what I have just said, and that is exactly the case. There will be a stocktake initially. I will just say it again. The Agricultural Land Register will record all foreign investments in agricultural land from zero dollars onwards, and there will be a $15 million cumulative threshold, if this legislation is passed by the Senate, which would apply for the purposes of Foreign Investment Review Board screening. We do not think it is sensible to apply the screening threshold from zero dollars onwards. It would capture a whole range of very small transactions and would swamp the Foreign Investment Review Board with a whole range of transactions that would never trigger the question of whether or not something is or is not contrary to the national interest. So the government is of the view that we have the balance right in determining $15 million as the appropriate threshold, and that is what we are commending to the Senate.