In November 2015, the government of Australia announced changed rules for foreign investors.



  • 0 harmful
  • 1 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 25 Nov 2015 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

 On 25 November 2015, the Australian Treasurer announced in a press release that, following the decision of the Foreign Investment Review Board, the government would approve foreign investments into the electricity supplier Transgrid.
However, the approval was linked to a number of conditions mentioned in the press release:

  • "The operation and control of TransGrid's transmission system and telecommunications business is undertaken solely from within Australia;
  • Maintenance is also to be undertaken in Australia other than where it is not possible to do this on reasonable commercial terms.
  • Electricity supply data and personal information is accessible and held solely within Australia;
  • Foreign consortium members maintain their interest in TransGrid at no more than 50 per cent;
  • 50 per cent of TransGrid's boards comprise Australian citizens and residents;
  • TransGrid has an independent chairperson and an independent director on the board who are Australian citizens and residents, one of whom is required for all board quorums;
  • Senior personnel in critical positions to hold security clearances; and
  • Audited annual reporting certifying compliance with NSW's critical infrastructure licence conditions and annual reporting to FIRB, approved by the independent chairperson, certifying compliance with the safeguards I imposed."

Hence, this measure enforces a number of restrictions on foreign investments and shall hence be classified as amber.
As the press release only mentions that the bid was won by NSW Electricity Networks without mentioning the country of origin of the investors, the affected trading partners are based on the shareholders mentioned in an article of The Sydney Morning Herald (cf. Sources).