The prospect of Tony Abbott’s Coalition government countenancing a $15 million cap after which Foreign Investment Review Board scrutiny of agricultural land purchases would be mandatory attracted strong debate today.
The policy discussion paper released today proposes FIRB scrutinise any foreign acquisition of agricultural land valued at $15 million or more. The current cap is $244 million.
The paper also recommends the FIRB get involved at an earlier level than it does currently when considering agribusinesses purchases.
The policy discussion paper attracted quick Twitter criticism including Jan Davis who represents the Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association.
Penny Wong, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, rehashed data from a suspect ABS survey on levels of foreign agribusinesses.
ABC journalist Melissa Clarke also brought Treasurer Wayne Swan’s thoughts into the debate.