Legally speaking: FIRB fees offer some relief, at last

Duncan Bedford*, McCullough Robertson, 15/05/2017

Kimberley cattle


LAST week’s Federal Budget included a number of announcements relating to the foreign investment rules in Australia and unlike most other changes in the last few years, there is finally some good news, particularly for investors in the agricultural sector.

In an attempt to streamline and simplify the fees and approval framework for agricultural land, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced a change to how Foreign Investment Review Board application fees are calculated from 1 July 2017, in respect a number of different types of land including agricultural property.

Currently the application fee for an application to acquire an interest in agricultural land is $5000 for acquisitions for less than $1 million, or for acquisitions where the purchase price is greater than $1 million, $10,000 for each million of the purchase price with a cap of $100,000 (subject to indexing).

As of 1 July this year, there will be a simplified (and reduced) three-tiered fee framework for FIRB applications for the acquisitions of an interest in agricultural land.

The new fees and a comparison to the previously charged fees are set out in this table:

FIRB fees


Duncan Bedford 2* Duncan Bedford is a solicitor and partner in Brisbane agribusiness law firm, McCullough Robertson. He is recognised for his expertise in foreign investment and his management of matters before the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). He can be contacted on (07) 3233 8706.


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