Ian Hundley writes ("Show us buyer data", Progress Leader, 8 November 2016) that there is a need for more “accurate data of purchases of residences by foreigners”. It has to be said since coming to office the Coalition has taken unprecedented steps to enforce foreign investment rules, increase penalties and use the ATO’s matching data systems to identify possible breaches. From July this year for the first time all foreign persons who buy residential property have to register their acquisition with the ATO. Taking into account the obvious need to protect the privacy of applicants, the Commonwealth is also working with the states and territories to put in place a comprehensive register which includes using existing land title transfer information. This process, together with the fact that the Foreign Investment Review Board Annual Report now details on a state and territory basis proposed investment in Australian residential real estate, is a major step forward and will enhance transparency, enforcement and generate better community outcomes.
Josh Frydenberg MP
Federal Member for Kooyong