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Tuesday, 8 December 2020
Page: 7148


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Stoker ) (21:34): I will now deal with the second reading and other remaining stages of the bills. The question is that the second reading amendment on sheet 1163, circulated by the opposition, be agreed to.

Opposition ' s circulated amendment

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate notes the concerns and uncertainty around the implementation of this bill and the Coalition Government's broader failures on foreign investment."

Question negatived.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question now is that the second reading amendment on sheet 1157, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.

Greens ' circulated amendment

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate:

(a) notes that:

   (i) the definition of a notifiable national security action in the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020 includes infrastructure defined as a critical infrastructure asset under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018,

   (ii) the Department of Home Affairs is undertaking consultation on the Exposure Draft of the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020, and

   (iii) in respect of critical electricity assets, the Explanatory Document to the Exposure Draft states, "It is likely that an expanded set of generator assets will be captured, building on the existing approach in the rules'; and

(b) calls on the Government to ensure that the threshold for critical electricity assets established under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 is set at a level that does not have a disproportionate impact on renewable energy".

Question negatived.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I will now deal with the committee stage amendments circulated on the bill, starting with the amendments circulated by the opposition in respect of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020. The question now is that the amendments on sheet 1132, circulated by the opposition, be agreed to.

Opposition ' s circulated amendments—

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 1), omit "Sections 1 to 3", substitute "Sections 1 to 5".

(2) Page 3 (after line 5), after clause 3, insert:

4 Evaluation of operation of this Act and related legislation

(1) The Secretary must conduct an evaluation of the reforms implemented by this Act and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment Act 2020 (the foreign investment reform Acts), including:

(a) legislative instruments made under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Act 2015 to implement the foreign investment reform Acts; and

(b) administrative changes made to implement the foreign investment reform Acts.

(2) The evaluation must start as soon as practicable, and in any event within 1 month, after this section commences.

(3) The Secretary must give the Treasurer a written report of the evaluation before the end of the period of 12 months beginning on the day this section commences.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), the evaluation and report must consider:

(a) the impact that the foreign investment reform Acts and their implementation have had on foreign investment in Australia and the broader Australian economy; and

(b) whether the right balance is struck between welcoming foreign investment and protecting Australia's national interests.

(4) The Treasurer must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the report is given to the Treasurer.

(5) The Secretary must publish a copy of the report on the Department's website by no later than the day on which the report is tabled.

5 Delegation

(1) The Secretary may, in writing, delegate the Secretary's powers or functions under section 4 to a person engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 who is employed in the Department.

Question agreed to.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question now is that the amendments on sheets 1138 and 1139, in respect of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.

Australian Greens ' circulated amendments—

SHEET 1138

(1) Schedule 3, item 8, page 195 (after line 28), after subsection 130ZY(1), insert:

(1A) Without limiting subsection (1), the report must include statistics on the area, value, tenure and use of land in which there is a foreign interest.

SHEET 1139

(1) Schedule 1, page 34 (after line 1), after item 80, insert:

80A After section 63

Insert:

63A Publication of exemption certificate

(1) For each exemption certificate given under Division 5 of Part 2, or under the regulations, the Treasurer must, as soon as practicable after giving the certificate, publish on a website maintained by the Department:

(a) the exemption certificate; and

(b) the reasons the exemption certificate was given, including the matters of which the Treasurer was satisfied before giving the exemption certificate.

(2) For each exemption certificate varied or revoked under section 62, the Treasurer must, as soon as practicable after varying or revoking the certificate, publish on a website maintained by the Department:

(a) the exemption certificate; and

(b) the reasons the exemption certificate was varied or revoked, including the matters of which the Treasurer was satisfied before varying or revoking the exemption certificate.

(3) The Treasurer may redact from each exemption certificate and reasons required to be published under subsections (1) or (2), any information that would be contrary to national security to publicly disclose.

(2) Schedule 1, item 126, page 48 (after line 3), after section 76A, insert:

76B Publication of no objection notification

(1) For each no objection notification given under sections 74 or 75, the Treasurer must, as soon as practicable after giving the notification, publish on a website maintained by the Department:

(a) the no objection notification; and

(b) the reasons the no objection notification was given, including the matters of which the Treasurer was satisfied before giving the no objection notification.

(2) For each no objection notification varied under sections 74, 76 or 79G or revoked under section 76A, the Treasurer must, as soon as practicable after varying or revoking the notification, publish on a website maintained by the Department:

(a) the no objection notification; and

(b) the reasons the no objection notification was varied or revoked, including the matters of which the Treasurer was satisfied before varying or revoking the no objection notification.

(3) The Treasurer may redact from each no objection notification and reasons required to be published under subsections (1) or (2), any information that would be contrary to national security to publicly disclose.

(3) Schedule 2, item 40, page 150 (line 26) to page 151 (line 10), omit section 101D, substitute:

101D Publication of undertakings

(1) If the Treasurer accepts an undertaking in relation to a provision mentioned in subsection 101C(1), the Treasurer must, as soon as practicable after accepting the undertaking, publish on a website maintained by the Department:

(a) the undertaking; and

(b) the reasons the undertaking was accepted, including the matters of which the Treasurer was satisfied before accepting the undertaking.

(2) If the Treasurer varies or withdraws an undertaking in relation to a provision mentioned in subsection 101C(1), the Treasurer must, as soon as practicable after varying or withdrawing the undertaking, publish on a website maintained by the Department:

(a) the undertaking; and

(b) the reasons the undertaking was varied or withdrawn, including the matters of which the Treasurer was satisfied before varying or withdrawing the undertaking.

(3) The Treasurer may redact from each undertaking and reasons required to be published under subsections (1) or (2), any information that would be contrary to national security to publicly disclose.

(4) A failure to comply with subsections (1) or (2) in relation to an undertaking does not affect the enforceability of the undertaking under Part 6 of the Regulatory Powers Act, as that Part applies in relation to the provisions of this Act.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the Greens amendments on sheets 1138 and 1139 be agreed to.