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Seeking Info on house purchase Breaches of the Foreign Investment Review Board rules on foreign investment

Planning Backlash reports that there have been some discussions with the Assistant Treasurer about the continued flouting of the FIRB regulations that contain exploitive overseas investment in the local property market. These breaches are resulting in driving prices for housing up to the exclusion of locals, adding to a rapid demolition of housing stock for new 'MacMasions', adding unoccupied houses to our neighbourhoods and resulting in buying tours from overseas which exclude local buyers. Here is how you can help:

Planning Backlash seek your help to identify specific examples of breaches of the regulations so we can give evidence in calling for enforcement of the regulations. Please contact Mary Drost by clicking on her name and using the contact form.

These regulations are in essence

1. Non residents can buy new houses for the purposes of residency associated with work or study whilst in Australia, as soon as this work or study finishes the property must be sold.

2. The houses must be occupied by the buyer or person for whon it was purchased

3. Non residents are forbidden from buying existing houses.

We want to know if you have evidence of houses bought through 3rd parties to facilitate demolition.

We want to know of houses that have been bought and have no permanent resident.

We want to know of evidence of buying trips out of SE Asia that exclude locals.

We want to know where overseas buyers have multiple properties in their own, or multiple family names.

Can you help?

Our intent is to see the law enforced and penalties imposed where it is not and so get fairness and equity back into the market.

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What hope do ordinary Australians have when their own government encourages this kind of unfair 'competition' for wages and for housing?

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Will I need approval from the Australian Government (FIRB)?

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board monitors and tracks all foreign investment within Australia.

Those buying vacant land will require FIRB approval however the approval will always be forthcoming. The government encourages investment in vacant land/construction given that it promotes the construction (and therefore jobs) and adds to the existing housing stocks.
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The Ever Bright Group: Housing projects

'Exclusive' Stonnington development.

The Australian Electoral Commission yesterday released financial disclosure data
for the 2013-14 financial year, revealing that the single largest donor to
the ALP was an unknown China-based person named Zichun Wang. Crikey can reveal that
Zichun Wang appears to be the deputy general manager of Chinese property
development firm Ever Bright
, responsible for several large developments in Melbourne’s eastern

Wang gave
$850,000 to the national ALP Secretariat in two parcels that year, the
largest donation to either party.

An article
about the “mystery Chinese donor” in Fairfax provoked much speculation as to the
identity of the generous figure, with Business
discovering links between Wang and
Australian real estate investment.

But Crikey can reveal the
man behind the money appears to be Melbourne-based Ever Bright Group’s deputy
general manager.

Ever Bright Group is responsible for building a range of large property
developments primarily across Melbourne and Shijiazhuang, the largest city in
Hebei province. Property developers have been banned from donating to
political parties in New South Wales since 2009, but there are no Victorian
or federal rules against it.

It's not like the ALP actually needs the money. It's one of the richest parties in the world already, due to land speculation and banking investments. I expect that the Liberal Party is the same.

There is no way the people can win with political parties that are really corporations working with corporate governments.

It's assumed that high population growth and the housing "boom" is the solution to our economic stagnation and debts in Australia, but actually it's the cause. It's an unsustainable Ponzi pyramid of property investors all with vested interests in high volume real estate sales, riding on high population growth! Our economy has become trapped into the "growth" model, and with record low numbers of first home buyers, the properties must be marketed to international investors. It's to keep the housing bubble inflated for as long as possible.

The real estate Ponzi scheme has a life of its own, and it's a monster that's consuming us. Urban growth means that former industrial sites are being swallowed by housing growth, adding to the unemployment rate. Hence, immigration rates are pumped up to increase the number of buyers, and then the public are locked into inter-generational infrastructure debt, and heavy mortgages or rents.

It's like the movie, The Matrix! It depicts a dystopian future in which the reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called "the Matrix", created by sentient machines to subdue the human population. In this present dystopia, people are being stacked and warehoused in the Ponzi pyramid, and are forced to pay for high costs and see their jobs and skills being over-ridden and ignored while foreigners benefit. We are gagged by PC (political correctness), and with only a shred of democratic powers to avoid the heavy costs being placed onto the public, and treated as economic units.

The Federal Government says it will tighten scrutiny of farmland sales to foreign buyers from next month.

Speaking at a sheep grazing property outside Canberra, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia was "built" on foreign investment from Britain, the United States and Japan. Yes, there was lots of "investment" in Australia's land during our Colonial past, which meant that settlers from Britain and America etc could come and grab land at bargain prices - land that was being looted from the traditional owners! Many of the "foreign" buyers actually became citizens, not remote owners!

Australia was also "built" on immigration, but that doesn't means we can keep the fantasy of youth young forever! It's childish to stay holding on what we did as a nation when we were young. Growth in middle age means growing fat around our waistlines, potentially causing medical conditions, and obesity. We must accept maturity as a nation, and that our land is a finite resource, and policies must be trimmed accordingly.

As it is now, the Foreign Investment Review Board is required to scrutinise farmland sales to foreign private entities of more than $240 million. So, with such as massive bottom-line, low, bargain-basement price, it's no wonder that not many properties have passed any "review"!

There's tighter FIRB restrictions already written in to the free trade agreements Australia struck with Japan, Korea and China last year, which lowered the threshold for scrutiny of farmland purchases to $15 million, and agribusiness purchases to $53 million. Being "open for business' means selling off our sovereignty bit by bit!

Commonwealth moves to tighten monitoring, scrutiny of foreign investment in farmland on ABC Rural (11 Feb 15 – updated 3.40pm)

The details of these "new" rules are not clear, but with Australia's identity being continually diluted by neo-liberalism, Multiculturalism, and globalisation, those patriotic enough to be concerned by the sale of Australia are probably feeling war-weary and defeated!