This draft report presents the Commission’s preliminary analysis and views on the rationales for the Register of Foreign-owned Water Entitlements, its effectiveness, costs and benefits, and possible improvements, for both its current and future forms.
- There is no compelling case for major changes to the Register of Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements (the Register). It plays a small, yet useful, role and apart from a few tweaks should continue for now, provided its costs remain low.
- Foreign investment provides capital for businesses to grow, introduces new technologies, practices and technical expertise and enables Australians to enjoy higher standards of living than they otherwise would.
- The transparency provided by the Register helps maintain community confidence in Australia’s approach to foreign investment. It gives ministers, government agencies and other interested parties an authoritative source of information on foreign ownership of water entitlements in Australia. There is no other source for this information.
- There is not a compelling case to provide more granular information on foreign ownership, such as at the water source or catchment level. Such information could be used to identify registrants, violating confidentiality provisions, and potentially damage Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign investment.