TREASURER Joe Hockey says bureaucracy and a lack of co-ordination from states on agricultural land titles has forced him to take a national approach to creating a farmland register.
"We are developing a register. At the moment the States don't keep the detail," he said, "I was trying to cut the red tape associated with notification and get the States on board through their land titles offices, but I've virtually given up on that, now I'm going to have to set up our own register."
William Inglis & Son rural property sales manager Sam Triggs questioned the need for a register and said a new $15 million benchmark for Foreign Investment Review Board approval (cut from $238 million) was too tough.
"I understand that a register may help to appease any public angst, but fundamentally if you remove investors from the market then demand is reduced and that may soften the market."
"I think the big offshore investors need critical mass and scale to make it efficient so they will probably need to spend more than $15 million."