See update here. Yesterday, Thursday 23 October, was another turbulent day in pre-election Melbourne as the fate of the childhood home of Gough Whitlam at 46 Rowland Street Kew hung in the balance. We were under the impression that the demolition of the house would continue so I dressed in black and went to the site about 1 pm with flowers to leave on the fence and so pay a suitable tribute to Gough Whitlam. (I called up lots of people as the Leader Newspaper said they would send a photographer.) Imagine my shock at seeing a media scrum in the street outside the wire fence with more cars arriving all the time. (Included at the end of this article are the NFIRB's guidance notes on foreign investment in real estate.)
foreign investment in Australian real-estate
In 2013 foreign investors obtained permission from the Victorian government to build or to buy 4,500 houses, amounting to some $18b worth of approvals. Numbers of houses falling into foreign hands are increasing, with the Chinese the biggest buyers and builders, followed by the Canadians, Americans and Singaporeans. There were 12,025 applications to invest in Victorian real estate according to an annual report for 2012-2013. Not one was rejected. On Wednesday 19 March 2014 the Treasurer, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, asked the Economics Committee to inquire into and report on Australia's foreign investment policy as it applies to residential real estate.
Although the date for submissions seems to have passed, the committee is still receiving them. Since most submissions have come from professional organisations with a financial interest in promoting more houses, there is a great need for members of the public who cannot afford housing to make submissions. Submissions