Tougher FIRB rules delayed

Tougher FIRB rules delayed
Tougher FIRB rules delayed

The much-heralded Federal Parliamentary report into foreign property buying and its impact on housing affordability has been delayed until November 28.

It will be six weeks later than the original mid-October due date.

The committee's Liberal MP chair, Kelly O’Dwyer, said the extra time was needed to ensure the report was as comprehensive as possible.

O’Dwyer, who is due to provide the report with recommendations to Treasurer Joe Hockey, has advised the committee is looking at stiffer penalties for non-compliance.

"The FIRB haven't been properly doing the job... in terms of the compliance and enforcement regime.

"At the moment the only penalties that really apply are to the actual purchaser themselves, but in fact what we think applicable is catching a number of those people who might deliberately be helping those people contravene the laws, so looking potentially estate agents, lawyers and also accountants involved in trying to contravene the foreign investment framework," said O'Dwyer.

It has been foreshadowed that the key recommendation was likely to involve the creation of a national property register.

It will require the co-operation of states and territories.

“It’s prudent for us to go through a consultation process with the state and territory governments with respect to their transfer of land documents and register,” O'Dwyer said this week.

“We’re undertaking that consultation at the moment, and hope to conclude this expeditiously.”

A central register would better monitor foreign buyers by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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