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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8692

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (20:41): Can I just put on the record that, if you look at the Overseas Investment Act and what New Zealand have had for a number of years, which was modelled on the Overseas Investment Act, it is sensible to look at the potential for new job opportunities with foreign investment. It looks at the introduction of new technology or business skills, increased export receipts, added market competition, greater efficiency or productivity, additional investment for development purposes and increased processing of primary products. It also looks at a whole lot of issues, including a character test and what their link is to New Zealand in terms of New Zealand legislation. So I think we ought to look at that.

This is not a criticism of Senator Whish-Wilson. The Greens are on the record as not supporting these amendments, but these amendments on the national interest test are actually picked up from the bill that Senator Milne and I co-sponsored. So I hope this issue can be revisited sooner rather than later, because I think it was sound policy. Our neighbour across the Tasman has worked with this. It has not impeded foreign investment, but it has acted as a check on foreign investment that would not be in that country's interest. I think we can learn from the Kiwis.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator O'Neill ): The question is that amendments (2) and (4) on sheet 7782 moved by Senator Xenophon be agreed to.