In March 2018 the Treasury released information relating to the Government's Supplementary Order Paper - Overseas Investment in Forestry.
On 20 March 2018 the Government introduced a Supplementary Order Paper to the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill which was originally introduced to Parliament on 14 December 2017. The amendment brings overseas investment in sensitive land that involves forestry rights or certain other profits à prendre within the scope of the Overseas Investment Act (OIA).
Following entry into force of the Amendment Bill, as amended by the SOP, people who are “overseas persons”, as defined by Section 7 of the OIA, will need to obtain consent to purchase forestry rights and certain other profits à prendre over land that is “sensitive” as defined in Schedule 1 of the OIA.
A forestry right is the right to establish, maintain and harvest a forest. A profit à prendre is the right to take something from the land owned by another.
Alongside the inclusion of forestry rights and certain profits à prendre in the OIA, the SOP also proposes new tests for overseas investment in forestry - a modified benefit test that changes the counter-factual analysis, and a new checklist approach to showing benefit. The new checklist approach seeks to liberalise the application process and give overseas investors more certainty in their applications.
The Government has asked the Finance and Expenditure Committee to call for submissions on the Supplementary Order Paper.
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