Perception versus reality: A brief insight into Australia’s foreign investment regulatory framework

When the Australian Government overhauled the foreign investment framework in late 2015, it had at least three key objectives in mind: (i) to better regulate foreign investment in agriculture and residential real estate (no doubt to address a prevailing public perception that foreign investment was ‘buying up the farm’ and driving up the cost of housing in Australia’s major cities); (ii) to implement stricter penalties on foreign investors who breach the rules; and (iii) to introduce application fees to ensure that Australian taxpayers no longer fund the cost of administering the foreign investment review system.

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