14 February 2018

Media Release: Giving Australians a fair go in agricultural land sales

Farmers across Corangamite are set to benefit from new rules announced recently to ensure Aussies get a fair go in agricultural land sales.

The changes require farm land to be marketed widely to potential Aussie bidders for a minimum of 30 days and provide the opportunity for Australians to participate in the sale process.

Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson said they had heard concerns some properties were being sold overseas without being advertised locally.

“We want to make sure Aussies get a fair crack at buying Aussie farms,” Ms Henderson said.

“The Turnbull Government have now brought in new rules that mean sellers have to advertise their property to the locals.

“We want transparency and integrity in foreign sales of our farmland.

“That’s why we created the farm land ownership register, which shows us how much of our land is owned by foreign interests. We also changed the rules so foreign purchases of land worth more than $15 million face a national interest test – Labor allowed no scrutiny of all farm sales under $252 million.

“We’re pleased Australians will get a fair go at buying Australian farms.”

New rules

  • Subject to exceptional circumstances, foreign investors must demonstrate that agricultural land they intend to acquire has been part of a public sales process and marketed widely to potential Australian bidders for a minimum of 30 days, and Australian bidders have had an opportunity to participate in the sale process.
  • All acquisitions of agricultural land by foreign investors for residential development will also be subject to standard development conditions requiring development to commence within a five year period to prevent land banking—this condition already applies to acquisitions of vacant land.

More information is available at www.firb.gov.au