National security

Last updated

Australia continues to welcome and remains an attractive destination for foreign investment. However, risks to Australia’s national interest, particularly national security, have increased. Foreign investment carries risks related to the potential access and control investors may obtain over organisations and assets, especially critical infrastructure.

You must notify us if you propose:

  • acquiring an interest in national security land
  • acquiring interests in exploration tenements over national security land
  • acquiring a direct interest in a national security business or entity that carries on a national security business
  • starting a national security business.

Investments that do not need to be notified, and are not notified, can be called‑in for review on national security grounds, at any time in the future while under foreign ownership.

Foreign investors can choose to voluntarily notify us of these investments and receive certainty that the investment can no longer be called‑in for review.

In exceptional circumstances, we can impose conditions, vary existing conditions, or as a last resort, require the divestment of any investment where national security risks emerge. This ‘last resort’ power is subject to several safeguards.

National security is already a factor in making an assessment against the national interest test.

To avoid overlap between the two tests (national interest and national security), wherever the broader national interest test applies to an investment, only that test is applied.

Guidance Note 8: National security


A: National security
B: Mandatory notification - ‘notifiable national security actions’
National security business
Transitional arrangements for the expanded definition of a national security business
National security land
Acquisitions of an interest in national security land
Securities in a land entity that holds national security land
C: Call in power – ‘reviewable national security actions’
Voluntary notification – ‘reviewable national security actions’
D: National security exemption certificates
E: Last resort power
F: Sectoral guidance
Financial services
Commercial construction contractors
Commercial real estate
Critical minerals
Critical service providers and suppliers
Critical Technologies
Defence Providers
Liquid fuels
Energy Market Operators
Food and Grocery
Higher education facilities
Information technology, data and the cloud
Water and sewerage
Further information


Guidance Note 8: National Security [PDF  1.42 MB]

Guidance Note 8: National Security [DOCX  186 kB]