30
Mar 2020

The Foreign Investment Review Board is the 'Abominable Never Say No Man'

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WE applaud the Treasurer’s announcement that all foreign investments require approval regardless of value or where they are from, but everyone knows the FIRB is the ‘Abominable Never Say No Man,’ said Kennedy MP, Bob Katter.

“Leaving the FIRB to protect what’s left of this nation’s great assets is like leaving Sylvester the Cat to protect the canary cage,” Mr Katter said.

“If you think the Chinese aren’t going to swoop in on our suffering businesses and landowners then you believe in the tooth fairy.”

Mr Katter has been calling for a hold on the sale of all strategic, and in many cases non-strategic assets to foreign corporations and powers.

“The Black Plague and the Spanish Flu epidemic didn’t last forever and nor will the Coronavirus. In fact on current figures the surging numbers of infections seem to be abating here in Australia,” he said.

“There are shovel ready key projects that need progressing. The Federal Government has the buying of a trillion dollars at one per cent interest - so let’s invest in the dams and irrigation projects.”

Just last month Mr Katter introduced The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Amendment (Strategic Assets) Bill 2020, to replace the FIRB altogether.

Subsection 3 replaces the FIRB with a Foreign Ownership Assessment Board (FOAB). The Bill determines that the Board’s members are to be chosen by a majority of the Senate of Australia; and any determination of the FOAB is to be reviewable by an appeals tribunal.

Subsection 2A places a ban on the acquisition of assets of strategic economic or defensive importance to Australia.

“Again, right now, we plead with the Federal Government to put a stop on the purchase of any significant assets of strategic economic or defence importance,” Mr Katter said.

“I am starting to sound like a broken record on this topic, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”

—ENDS—

Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au