SEVEN foreign buyers will be forced to resell their newly acquired homes after treasure Scott Morrision decided to follow in Joe Hockey’s hard line footsteps.
Earlier this year, then treasurer Mr Hockey forced the resale of a $39 million Sydney Harbour mansion after a Chinese billionaire flew under the radar to buy the palatial pad in breach of Foreign Investment Review Board rules.
Today theHerald Sun reported that a Chinese business tycoon has been ordered to sell his $5.2 million Melbourne mansion after he was caught breaching the foreign ownership laws.
The first Victorian home to be slapped with a divestment order, the multi-million dollar property is one of five in Melbourne to be forcibly sold after investigations by the Australian Taxation Office.
The five-bedroom house at 6 Higham Rd in Hawthorn East, was reportedly snapped up under the hammer on May 31, 2014 by a businessman who offered individual bids of $300,000 to secure the sale.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the house, and six others across the country, were bought without the tick of approval from the Government.
Far from being a targeted attack on cashed-up Chinese billionaires, Mr Morrison’s department has also shone the spotlight on five other properties set to be sold off including a $2.5 million home in Helensvale, Queensland, an $802,000 house at Springvale, three Carlton properties worth $225,000, $235,000 and $585,000 respectively — and even a $154,000 property in Bellingen on the Mid North Coast of NSW, whichThe Australianreports was bought illegally by a German national.
“These forced sales demonstrate that the Coalition Government’s strengthened foreign investment framework is ensuring that foreign nationals who are illegally holding Australian property will not be allowed to get away with it,’’ Mr Morrison told the Herald Sun.
The new owners will have a maximum 12-month period to sell off their properties under the divestment order.
Under the Abbott and Turnbull governments, a total of 19 properties have been forcibly sold due to breaches to the FIRB regulations.
The Australian Taxation Office has investigated more than 1044 cases since responsibility was transferred from the Foreign Investment Review Board in May. There are 532 cases under active investigation.