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Liberals' Foreign Investor Tax Tinkering at the Edges

9 Feb 2018

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

The Liberals are playing catch up on the growing level of foreign ownership and influence in Tasmania.

Tasmanians know foreign investors are impacting on the housing market and that almost 25% of our agricultural land has some level of foreign ownership.

Cashed up overseas buyers are not going to be dissuaded by a small tax hit.  The Liberals' policy will make no difference to housing availability, nor will it mean any less agricultural land ends up in foreign hands.

It will not make a difference to the foreign investment exemptions for international students to buy multiple established residential properties in places like Sandy Bay and Lenah Valley.

The Greens are committed to moving for a Parliamentary inquiry to understand the level and impact of foreign ownership and influence in Tasmania.  We believe this is an issue of significant concern to Tasmanians and that our inquiry should be supported by both major parties.

Given that the Liberals took big money from a foreign company with strong ties to a foreign government - despite ASIO's warning - it's hard to escape the conclusion the Liberals are just tinkering at the edges of the problem to avoid offending their foreign donors.

Today's announcement is more about the Liberals looking like they're taking on a much bigger problem, but without actually doing anything meaningful to address legitimate public concerns about the impact of foreign buyers on housing, food security, communities and sovereignty.