The AICSA is preparing a submission to the State Government with respect to the Business & Jobs Support Fund.

The Government is keen to ensure that the support it provides is tailored to the needs of each industry sector.  Therefore, the government is encouraging  representative bodies to provide submissions that represent the needs of the industry as a whole.  This will enable the Government to consider how it can provide tailored support that is consistent across your sector, rather than dealing with companies individually.

To assist the AICSA to prepare a submission that addresses the needs of the conveyancing industry I am asking you to provide me with some brief information including:

·        How the current restrictions are affecting your operations – e.g. forced shutdown, downturn in trade
·        The size of your operation – e.g. workforce before the restrictions and after
·        Impact on your cashflows
·        How existing Commonwealth and State support packages already announced help your operations
·        What specific issues you are worried about – e.g. paying your rent, regulatory requirements that are difficult to meet in the current environment, debt obligations or other issues

If submissions can be made to assist@aicsa.com.au by no later that COB Friday 3 April 2020.


Temporary changes to foreign investment review framework 

The Treasurer has announced temporary changes to the foreign investment review framework, effective from 10.30pm AEDT Sunday 29 March, to protect Australia’s national interest as Australia deals with the Coronavirus. Foreign investment will play an important role in helping many businesses get to the other side – securing jobs and supporting the economic recovery. These temporary changes, which will remain in place for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, will ensure the Government can oversee all investments and safeguard the national interest in these challenging times.

$0 monetary screening threshold for all foreign investments

All proposed foreign investments into Australia that are subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) will require approval, regardless of value or the nature of the foreign investor.

This temporary change will be achieved by reducing the monetary screening thresholds to $0 for all non-residential foreign investments under the Act. This will ensure the Australian Government has appropriate oversight over all proposed foreign investments.

The change will not affect proposed acquisitions that are already subject to $0 thresholds under existing rules, for example all acquisitions by foreign government investors, private acquisitions in Australian media businesses or proposals relating to residential land, mining and production tenements, and vacant commercial land.

Australia is open for business and recognises investment at this time can be beneficial if in the national interest. But at this difficult time, the Government needs oversight of all foreign investment activity to ensure it is consistent with the standards that would normally be applied and what the community expects.

Extended timeframe for reviewing applications

To ensure sufficient time for screening applications, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) will work with existing and new applicants to extend time frames for reviewing applications from 30 days to up to six months. In doing so, the Government will prioritise urgent applications for investments that directly protect and support Australian businesses and Australian jobs.

The Treasurer and his delegates will continue to review foreign investment proposals against the national interest on a case-by-case basis. Where appropriate, conditions will be applied proportionately to address identified risks on a non-discriminatory basis.

For more information

For more information on these temporary foreign investment changes, visit firb.gov.au.

For general enquiries relating to foreign investment in commercial land, agricultural land or an Australian business, you can contact the FIRB on +61 2 6263 3795 (weekdays 9am–12:30pm and 1:30pm‑5pm) or via email at firbenquiries@treasury.gov.au.

For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Kind regards

Rebecca Hayes
Chief Executive Officer