The Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land (the Agricultural Land Register) was established to provide greater transparency about the level of foreign ownership of Australia’s agricultural land.
The Commissioner of Taxation reports annually to the Treasurer on the operation of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Water or Agricultural Land Act 2015 (the Act) and is required to publish aggregate statistics of foreign ownership each year. This is the second report of the Agricultural Land Register and includes registrations made by foreign persons between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017. The first report was released on 7 September 2016 and included information about agricultural land registered by foreign persons as at 30 June 2016.
Summary of key findings:
The total area of agricultural land in Australia with a level of foreign ownership has fallen from 52.1 million hectares at 30 June 2016 to 50.5 million hectares at 30 June 2017.
Since the release of Agland 2016, the ABS has revised the total amount of agricultural land in Australia. To reflect this change and provide a basis for comparison across 2016 and 2017, the 2016 figure for the total level of foreign ownership in agricultural land has been adjusted to 14.1 per cent.
The proportion of agricultural land with a level of foreign ownership (foreign held) has fallen from 14.1 per cent (adjusted) at 30 June 2016 to 13.6 per cent at 30 June 2017.
There have been some significant changes in foreign ownership of agricultural land across states and territories.
The majority of these changes are due to the acquisition and disposal of agricultural land by foreign investors, and existing agricultural land holders changing their status to or from a foreign person.