Update on requirements for foreign ownership of water entitlements

An article published in Page Seager’s December 2016 e-newsletter (available here) advised of the proposed introduction of a national Register of Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements (Water Register).

The legislation creating the Water Register was enacted shortly after the publication of that article and the Water Register is now in effect. It is therefore important for anyone affected by this legislation to be aware of their reporting requirements.

The Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Amendment (Water) Act 2016 requires ‘Foreign Persons’ that hold or held a ‘Registrable Water Entitlement’ or ‘Contractual Water Right’ from 1 December 2017, to notify the ATO within 30 days after the end of the financial year of any notifiable events that occurred during the financial year.

To summarise, foreign persons will be required to notify the ATO if they:

  • acquired or disposed of a registrable water entitlement or contractual water right (where the remaining term of the contractual water right is reasonably likely to exceed five years); or
  • there was a change to the volume of water referred to in an entitlement.

Further information regarding the Water Register, including definitions of key terms, can be found in our previous article.

If you believe that you may need to report a notifiable event to the ATO or you wish to know more about the topic and how it may affect a proposed property transaction, please contact either:

David Shelley
Partner
M: 0427 183 217
E: dshelley@pageseager.com.au

Brett Garth
Associate
M: 0407 535 218
E: bgarth@pageseager.com.au

Published: 12 December 2017

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