© 2021 Greek Community Tribune All Rights Reserved

"Foreign ownership of water not a concern"

September 2021 There was no need for major changes to the way Australia records foreign ownership of water, according to the Productivity Commission. As reported by the ABC, currently, 11 per cent of Australia's water is owned by foreigners, with the highest proportion of foreign-owned water held in Queensland and Western Australia. Since 2017, any foreign person who acquires a water asset has been required to notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Canada is the foreign nation that holds the most overseas-owned Australian water, ahead of China, USA and the UK. Water is able to be owned because the water reforms over the past 30 years have supported the development of markets for water. The thinking is that creating water entitlements as tradable assets has allowed water to be used more efficiently and has provided new opportunities to invest capital — from both domestic and foreign sources. A draft report released by the commission on Tuesday found that few Australians were aware of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements, but that the information it provided was sufficient. The report made three recommendations: That state and territory governments link their water registers to the foreign register of water entitlements, and inform foreign entitlement holders to register with the ATO; That future ATO reports identify farm landholders among water registrants; That the ATO better explain the mandatory need for the foreign register and various terms linked to its use. In its report, the commission noted that the public perception of foreign ownership of water was often not shared by mining and farming industries, which were responsible for most water ownership. "The Australian community generally perceives the risks and threats associated with foreign investment more prominently than the benefits. "In contrast, the commission has observed that the agricultural and mining sectors, which are the predominant holders of water entitlements, have few concerns about foreign investment in water entitlements and generally support it," the commission said in its report. The report said that major industry groups from the farm and mining sectors rarely raised foreign ownership of water as a concern. The commission said few water market participants referred to the register and suggested that "maybe not a great deal" would change if the register did not exist. "The commission considers it unlikely that, in the absence of the register, the Australian Government would significantly tighten its policies for foreign investment or water markets in response to pressure from community members," it said.
Greek Tribune Adelaide, South Australia
© 2020 Greek Community Tribune All Rights Reserved
© 2021 Greek Community Tribune All Rights Reserved

"Foreign ownership of water not a concern"

September 2021 There was no need for major changes to the way Australia records foreign ownership of water, according to the Productivity Commission. As reported by the ABC, currently, 11 per cent of Australia's water is owned by foreigners, with the highest proportion of foreign-owned water held in Queensland and Western Australia. Since 2017, any foreign person who acquires a water asset has been required to notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Canada is the foreign nation that holds the most overseas-owned Australian water, ahead of China, USA and the UK. Water is able to be owned because the water reforms over the past 30 years have supported the development of markets for water. The thinking is that creating water entitlements as tradable assets has allowed water to be used more efficiently and has provided new opportunities to invest capital — from both domestic and foreign sources. A draft report released by the commission on Tuesday found that few Australians were aware of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements, but that the information it provided was sufficient. The report made three recommendations: That state and territory governments link their water registers to the foreign register of water entitlements, and inform foreign entitlement holders to register with the ATO; That future ATO reports identify farm landholders among water registrants; That the ATO better explain the mandatory need for the foreign register and various terms linked to its use. In its report, the commission noted that the public perception of foreign ownership of water was often not shared by mining and farming industries, which were responsible for most water ownership. "The Australian community generally perceives the risks and threats associated with foreign investment more prominently than the benefits. "In contrast, the commission has observed that the agricultural and mining sectors, which are the predominant holders of water entitlements, have few concerns about foreign investment in water entitlements and generally support it," the commission said in its report. The report said that major industry groups from the farm and mining sectors rarely raised foreign ownership of water as a concern. The commission said few water market participants referred to the register and suggested that "maybe not a great deal" would change if the register did not exist. "The commission considers it unlikely that, in the absence of the register, the Australian Government would significantly tighten its policies for foreign investment or water markets in response to pressure from community members," it said.
Greek Tribune
Adelaide, South Australia