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Farm sector split over level of foreign ownership scrutiny

Farm sector split over level of foreign ownership scrutiny

Date Published: 9th August 2012

By Melissa Williams, Published in The Countryman. Read the full story here.

Reducing the threshold for scrutiny of foreign acquisitions of Australian agricultural land to a cumulative $15 million, down from $244 million, could be a major disincentive to overseas investors and disastrous for WA's farm sector in the long term, according to leading WA farm investment and management consultant Gordon Verrall.

But WAFarmers argues this reduced threshold could still be too high for WA, where it estimates the average price of farms is between $1 million and $10 million.

And the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) says the current system is working well and current thresholds could remain, or possibly be halved to just over $100 million.

Under a coalition government, foreign buyers seeking ownership of Australian farm land would be subjected to a review by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for purchases of ....read more

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