Commonwealth to Create Register for Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements

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Commonwealth to Create Register for Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements

The Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Amendment (Water) Bill 2016 (Cth) has recently been introduced to the House of Representatives. It seeks to amend the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Act 2015 (Cth) in order to establish a Register of Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements to be administered by the Commissioner of Taxation. The Bill further details the responsibilities of the Commissioner with regard to their role as the administrator of foreign-owned water entitlements including the production of an annual report which summarises the levels of foreign ownership.

The Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Act 2015 (Cth) was introduced last year in response to growing public concern about the proportion of foreign investment in agricultural assets in Australia. The Register created by this Act provides the public with an overall understanding about the extent to which foreign ownership exists over agricultural land in Australia. This Bill seeks to provide the same perspective but with regard to foreign investment in Australian water entitlements that are considered a registerable water entitlement or contractual water right.

 

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