The Federal Government’s doubling of Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) fees, starting from today, will generate an additional $455 million in Budget revenue over the forward estimates.
The increased fees will apply to notifications and applications made on or after 29 July 2022. If notice of a notifiable action was given or an application made in the approved manner prior to 29 July 2022, the fee payable will be the fee specified in the relevant pre-29 July 2022 fee schedule.
In a joint statement, the Federal Government said while foreign investment is welcomed, it should be in Australia’s interests.
“Foreign investment application fees ensure the cost of administering the foreign investment framework is not borne by Australians, and penalties encourage compliance with our rules,” the statement reads.
“Australia continues to be an attractive place for investment. We have a lot to offer global investors including strong institutions, transparent regulations and a highly‑skilled workforce. We welcome foreign investment in Australia because it plays a crucial role in Australia’s economic success and will continue to be important into the future.”
Minerals Council of Australia Chief Executive Office Tania Constable said the doubling of the fees will erode Australia’s ability to attract the capital needed across all sectors of the economy.
“To ensure Australia’s mining, downstream processing and manufacturing industry is to grow the Government needs to address the high cost of doing business in Australia.
“Capital is an essential component of boosting both labour productivity and wages. Australia is facing an investment shortfall with our capital stock growth rates at record low levels.
“The capital shortage is yet more acute in mining which has been the largest source of economic growth in Australia over the last decade.”
Ms Constable said to maintain the current production of existing mines Australia needs at least $20 billion in capital every year.
“For Australia to expand mining and benefit from growing demand for the spectrum of minerals essential for the transition to renewables – copper, zinc, nickel, gold and the raft of critical minerals needed for our sustainable future – substantial additional foreign investment will be required.
“The government’s proposed doubling of foreign investment fees works directly against this objective.
“The doubling of the FIRB fees adds to the list of costs such as taxes and fees for land access making Australia an even more expensive place to do business.”
For more information, visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.