Foreign Investment Review Board

Foreign Investment Review Board

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Foreign Investment Review Board
Agency overview
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
Ministers responsibleThe Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, TreasurerThe Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), “examines proposals by foreign persons to invest in Australia and makes recommendations to the Treasurer on those subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and Australia’s foreign investment policy. The FIRB is independent but is assisted by the executive to the treasury.”[1]

Their functions include:

  • Evaluating foreign investment proposals
  • Pushing Australian equity participation in new investors who want to invest in Australia
  • Monitor foreign-controlled businesses in Australia
  • Liaison with state and local governments

About FIRB

The Foreign Investment Review Board (the Board) is a non statutory body established in 1976 to advise the Treasurer and the Government on Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy (the Policy) and its administration.

The Board’s functions are advisory only. Responsibility for making decisions on the Policy and proposals rests with the Treasurer. The Treasury’s Foreign Investment Division (the Division) provides secretariat services to the Board and is responsible for the day to day administration of the arrangements.

The role of the Board, including through its secretariat, is to:

  • examine proposed investments in Australia that are subject to the Policy, the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and supporting legislation, and to make recommendations to the Treasurer and other Treasury portfolio ministers on these proposals;
  • advise the Treasurer on the operation of the Policy and the Act;
  • foster an awareness and understanding, both in Australia and abroad, of the Policy and the Act;
  • provide guidance to foreign persons and their representatives or agents on the Policy and the Act;
  • monitor and ensure compliance with the Policy and the Act; and
  • provide advice to the Treasurer on the Policy and related matters.

View further information on the Foreign Investment Review Board’s performance framework.

Board membership:

The Board currently comprises six part-time Members and a full-time Executive Member.

Photo of David Irvine

Mr David Irvine AO

Chair and non‑executive member

Chair since 16 April 2017
Member since 3 December 2015

Mr Irvine has significant national security expertise as a former Director‑General of both the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. He is also a former Australian Ambassador to China and former Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

Other roles

Adjunct Professor – Australian Graduate School of Policy and Security at Charles Sturt University
Chair – Cyber Security Research CRC

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