by Alan Thornhill
The Federal government is to look at setting up a register of foreign ownership of agricultural land.
In a statement today, it announced the establishment a working group to consult interested parties on this proposal.
The government said this would provide the community with a more comprehensive picture of the specific size and locations of foreign agricultural landholdings over and above what is currently available.
The working group will seek stakeholder views on the establishment of a register, including:
· What ownership interests should be captured under a register;
· How the register would interact with existing state and territory land title registers, including the Foreign Ownership of Land Register in Queensland;
· Ways to monitor and enforce compliance; and
· How information would be reported on and disclosed.
The Government said its aim is to improve transparency of foreign ownership in agriculture without imposing unnecessary burdens on investors or duplicating work already undertaken by State and Territory governments.
The statement said the Government continues to maintain an open and welcoming approach to foreign investment, including in the agriculture sector.
“Foreign investment in the agricultural sector brings significant benefits to Australia and opportunities for Australian farmers.
“It can help to generate higher employment and incomes, investment in infrastructure and improvements to our food production capabilities, often in regional areas,” the Government said.
The working group will begin consultation with stakeholders and the States and Territories and will be led by Treasury and include senior officials from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and other relevant agencies, the statement said.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Wednesday May 22
The Dow Jones Index rose 52.07 points to 15,387.30
At least 24 die in Oklahoma tornado
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