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New foreign investment rules a beat-up

Today's big announcement by the Treasurer on tightening our foreign investment laws is more politics than policy, says Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. 

"On the surface of it, today's announcement is all about politics. The Treasurer is sending a message to the hard-line conservatives in his own party about cracking down on foreign investment, especially potential Chinese state-owned investment in Australia.

"The idea that somehow this is a significant reform or shift in our foreign investment laws is simply a beat-up of epic proportions. 

"The Greens-initiated Senate inquiry into our foreign investment laws and processes is currently underway, and will scrutinise the new measures announced today in detail. 

"From what scant detail we have there seems little substance or substantive change to existing foreign investment review laws, especially around foreign investment in so-called 'sensitive' industries.

"I'd urge the Treasurer to wait until the Senate does its job, and makes any recommendations based on expert evidence around necessary changes to the FIRB framework or processes. 

"Let's leave the politics out of the policy, especially on such a sensitive area of public interest."

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