Australia

Ex-ambassador to China to advise Turnbull Govt on Chinese investment

If you wanted to ensure Australian assets remained Australian owned, would you appoint a top spy and ex-ambassador to China to a key advisory position on foreign investments?

Treasurer ScoMo just announced the appointment of David Irvine AO as Chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Mr Irvine was the former Director General of ASIO and ASIS as well as former Australian Ambassador to China and former Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

This appointment is a strong signal from the Turnbull Government to the Chinese. We’re just not sure if its implications are to our benefit or theirs. Time will tell.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has today announced the appointment of David Irvine AO as Chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board, replacing outgoing Chair Brian Wilson.

Mr Irvine will begin his five year term on 16 April 2017.

The Board is a non-statutory body established in 1976 to provide advice to the Government on foreign investment policy and administration, including foreign investment applications. The Board’s functions are advisory only.

Mr Irvine was the 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. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Western Australia. He has been a member of the Board since 2015.

Mr Irvine is joined on the Board by Messrs Michael D’Ascenzo AO, David Peever, Patrick Secker and
Ms Alice Williams.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Wilson for the valuable contribution he has made to the deliberations of the Board during his tenures both as the Chair and as a member. His experience and knowledge of business has been of considerable benefit to the Board’s national interest deliberations.

The Turnbull Government has taken consistent and determined action when it comes to ensuring foreign investment is not contrary to the national interest, whilst never underestimating its importance to our national economy.

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