4 December 2015
Media Release - #2015021, 2015

Security and business expertise added to
Foreign Investment Review Board

The Turnbull Government today announced the appointment of Mr David Irvine and Mr David Peever as part-time members to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for a five year period.

Mr Irvine and Mr Peever have demonstrated sound judgement and strong leadership in their distinguished careers to date and each have a deep knowledge and experience of our region from both a national security and commercial perspective.

Mr Irvine and Mr Peever both know our part of the world very well and are well placed to assist the Government know what is and what is not in our national interest when it comes to foreign investment.

In the years ahead it will be increasingly important for FIRB to not only have the commercial expertise and background to deal with complex commercial transactions, but to also have an even greater understanding of the broader strategic issues, including national security issues, that are essential to protect our national interest.

The appointments of Mr Irvine and Mr Peever will bring significant strategic national interest and national security expertise to FIRB.

Foreign investment has underpinned the development of our nation and we must continue to attract the strong inflows of foreign capital that our economy requires, consistent with our national interest.

Foreign investment rules facilitate such investment while assuring the community that the investment is made in a way which ensures Australia’s national interest is protected.

Mr Irvine has gained extensive security experience as a 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 is currently a visiting Fellow of the National Security College at the Australian National University.

Mr Peever retired as Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia in October 2014 after 27 years with the company and recently chaired the Minister of Defence's First Principles Review of Defence.

Mr Peever is also Chairman of Cricket Australia and a Director of the International Cricket Council, a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Foundation Investment Company and the Melbourne Business School. He is a member of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council and the Chief of Defence's Gender Equality Advisory Board.

The Foreign Investment Review Board is a non-statutory body established in 1976 to advise the Treasurer on the Government's foreign investment policy and its administration.

The Foreign Investment and Trade Policy Division within the Treasury also advises the Treasurer on foreign investment matters and provides Secretariat support to the Board.

The Turnbull Government will continue to welcome and support foreign investment that is not contrary to our national interest.

The Government is also continuing to work collaboratively with the States and Territories to ensure that sales of critical infrastructure to foreign investors are properly scrutinised.

Mr Irvine’s appointment is effective immediately and Mr Peever’s appointment is effective from 1 February 2016.