Farmers will face greater scrutiny on land sales to foreign investors.

FIRB powers increased for farm sales

The federal government has announced it will increase scrutiny on incoming foreign investment in agricultural land, lowering the threshold at which purchases are reviewed by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The threshold will decrease from $252 million to just $15 million.

It will mean any farmer selling agricultural land to a foreign investor whose cumulative holdings exceed that total will require approval for the transaction.

The cumulative total would include the proposed purchase value.

The government will also establish a register of foreign owned agricultural land through the Australian Taxation Office, with both new sales and existing ownership interests to be included.

Changes were also flagged to regulations governing foreign investment in real estate, following a recent parliamentary inquiry, but the details are as yet unknown.

WAFarmers President Dale Park backed the move.

"This is the third government that has promised a register so we're pleased that it's going to happen," he said.

"This will hopefully give us facts about foreign ownership but we await further detail on how robust the information is."


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