SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS

SPOKESPERSON FOR COUNTRY CAUCUS

MEMBER FOR HUNTER

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

12 June 2015

AGRICULTURE INVESTORS PUT OFF BY ROBB’S RED TAPE

TOPICS: AGRICULTURE, TRADE

The Abbott Government’s increase in red tape and fees for international investors is making Australia less attractive as an investment destination.

One of Andrew Robb’s own Investment Specialists has confirmed the increase in red tape is acting as a disincentive to offshore investment in agriculture, saying ” the new fees have fuelled the narrative around Australia being a high-cost destination to invest in”.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation has also revealed this new red tape has been imposed without proper assessment of the increased regulatory burden.

If Mr Robb won’t listen to Labor about the increased barriers to foreign investment, he should take the advice of his own experts.

The Abbott Government has imposed extensive new layers of red tape on foreign investment in Australia with a raft of new barriers and costs for international investors seeking to grow businesses and create jobs in Australia.

It has singled out agriculture and agribusiness – sectors which need foreign capital to take advantage of growth opportunities in our region in coming years – with additional layers of red tape.

And in the Budget, the Government imposed $735 million in new charges for investors lodging FIRB applications.

The Abbott Government’s new rules on investment screening thresholds, fees, charges and penalties for investors run to seven pages of bureaucratic red tape.

They contain 22 different screening thresholds and categories, which vary depending on the value and type of investment and on the nationality of the investor, and 33 different levels and categories of application fees, ranging from $5000 to $100,000.

Andrew Robb’s red tape roll-out is making Australia a less attractive investment destination.