Media Releases

Foreign investment reforms important step forward

25 August 2015

New legislation introduced into Federal Parliament by Treasurer Joe Hockey on Thursday, 20 August 2015 in regard to foreign investment is necessary according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.

REINSW President Malcolm Gunning said REINSW supports the reforms to foreign investment which will see penalties increased from $90,000 to $135,000 for serious breaches of real estate rules.

“The previous fines were not significant and these increases will act as a disincentive,” Mr Gunning said. “We don’t want to scare off foreign investors as in many cases they are underpinning our construction industry.

“REINSW suggests the government promotes the new legislation and its ramifications through local foreign language newspapers and major overseas newspapers as the best way of ensuring the message gets out there.

“Most foreign investors don’t come into Australia with the intention of breaking the law. 

“They tend to seek advice from someone who they have been referred to who speaks their native tongue and this is where the problem lies because they are often taken advantage of and given incorrect advice.

“The REINSW International Chapter has been alerted that many are being told to buy a property first and them make an application to the Foreign Investment Review Board second.

“A major issue with foreign investment in the past was due to inadequate policing. We welcome the fee of $5,000 for properties valued at $1 million or less and higher fees to more expensive residential and agricultural properties as well as commercial real estate and business applications.

“We support new compliance powers granted to the Australian Taxation Office, which we believe is the appropriate place to find such transactions, and additional powers to the Foreign Investment Review Board,” Mr Gunning said.

For further information or to arrange an interview with REINSW President Malcolm Gunning, please contact: Helen Hull – 0419 642 961 or media@reinsw.com.au.