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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8669


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (18:04): Obviously, there are relevant fees for applications that come before the Foreign Investment Review Board—and I think that they are on the public record, so I am not going to list them. There are different fees, depending on the value of the asset involved and various other criteria.

When it comes to the amendment,—which I suspect is what Senator Whish-Wilson is getting at—and the cost of managing what is envisaged by the amendment that he is proposing to move to set up a register of foreign ownership of water entitlements, as I have indicated in response to a similar question from Senator Wong, the government will pursue this in good faith following proper, full and public consultation. We will be pursuing it with a view to setting this register up at the lowest possible cost while being effective, so we will seek to do it in a way that is efficient and effective.

Obviously, we are not in a position right now to give you specific details on what that cost will be, because the consultation has not yet taken place. If the Senate were to pass this amendment, the government will engage in a process, and part of that process will help us identify the specific costs of this part of the arrangements into the future. Any related matter, I would suspect, would be considered in that context.