Proposed changes to Australia’s foreign investment law

Reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework will become effective from 1 January 2021. On 5 June 2020 the Commonwealth Government announced the significant changes which will be introduced and are likely to impact QEC member companies.

A summary of the impacting changes include:

  • introduction of a new national security test, which will require mandatory notification of any proposed acquisition by a foreign person of a direct interest (generally 10% but lower in some circumstances) in a sensitive national security business. The government has indicated that this will be narrowly defined, so it is unlikely to impact most energy and resources assets, however it is possible it will cover some projects. As an example already two critical minerals applications have been impacted;
  • bolstering the existing compliance and enforcement regime; and
  • excluding certain low-risk investments from the regime, including the acquisition of royalties.

The QEC is currently working with Corrs Chambers Westgarth to ensure all members have complete access to understanding these changes to Australia’s foreign investment law.

Click here to view the summary from Corrs Chambers Westgarth – Proposed changes to Australia’s foreign investment law: potential impacts for the energy and natural resources sector

Click here to view the detailed paper Foreign Investment Reforms, from The Treasury, Commonwealth Government outlining the changes

For further information, please contact QEC Marketing Manager Samantha Nasternak, samanthan@qrc.org.au, or phone 07 3316 2515.

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