On 11 April 2017, Treasury released its response to the findings and recommendations of the Senate Economic References Committee report into the Foreign Investment Review Framework (Framework) (which were tabled on 28 March 2017).

Key messages from Treasury include:

  • it has agreed to review the Foreign Investment Review Board’s website and publish additional information about the assessment and screening process for foreign investment proposals;
  • it will continue its practice of considering issuing a press release outlining its rationale when making a decision on a significant foreign investment proposal that is in the public domain (other than matters of national security), but will continue to maintain confidentiality as far as possible when making such decisions;
  • it is committed to not disclosing identifying information collected by the ATO through the Agricultural Land Register which was established on 1 July 2015; and
  • it remains committed to the broad national interest test, and has rejected recommendations to legislate certain factors to be considered as part of that test, which it considers will limit the flexibility of the Framework.
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