MEDIA RELEASE
DOUBLING OF FOREIGN INVESTOR FEES IS THE WRONG MESSAGE TO SEND TO THE WORLD


[22 July 2022]

The Property Council of Australia said the Federal government’s decision to increase foreign investor application fees will discourage investment and hurt our economic recovery.

The Government has introduced regulations to double Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) application fees effective from 29 July, a move Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said will tell offshore investors they are not welcome.

“The new Albanese Government has rightly put a high value on Australia’s external relations in its first months in office, but this move to double foreign investor application fees sends the wrong message to the world,” Mr Morrison said.

"Australia needs foreign investment to power our economy, including investment in our modern office buildings, industrial parks, shopping centres, tourism facilities, student accommodation and much-needed new housing.

“We should be welcoming foreign investment with open arms, not sending the opposite message by doubling these fees which are already much larger than our competitors and apply to far more transactions.

“It is extremely poor practice to use a processing fee as a tax revenue source to fund other programs, a point the Productivity Commission has been critical of in the past and which we made to the now Government during the election campaign when this was announced without consultation.

“While these steep increases were announced as part of Labor’s housing election policy, investment in agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, mining, commercial property and the creation of new housing should not be taxed to pay for housing affordability schemes, no matter how worthy.

“The Property Council supports moves to tackle the challenge of housing affordability and supply but increasing costs on and deterring investment in the creation of new housing works against this goal,” he said.

Mr Morrison said the Property Council will continue to work with government to emphasise the importance of foreign investment to our cities and the economy.

ENDS

Media contact: Rhys Prka | 0425 113 273 | [email protected]