Submission: Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Bill

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
18 May, 2020

Read our submission, written by Dr Bryce Wilkinson, to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

In summary:

On 14 May, the Government introduced an Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Bill to the House and held its first reading on the same day. It had such little regard for public consultation the deadline for submissions was set for 4 pm on Monday, 18 May – giving submitters only two full working days.

The Bill was tabled in Parliament and received its first reading on 14 May. The deadline for submissions was 18 May. Given this extraordinarily compressed time frame, this submission limits itself to commenting on the proposed temporary emergency notification measures. 

The emergency measures greatly expand the scope of the screening regime and give broad powers to the responsible Minister to prohibit or dispose of investments deemed to be ‘contrary to the national interest.’ The provisions must be reviewed every 90 days and will be removed when the Government determines the Covid-19 pandemic and associated economic effects no longer have a significant impact.

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