As Crikey recently noted, there has been a looming vacancy at the Foreign Investment Review Board, with current chair Brian Wilson’s term expiring over Easter and (at least in our view) it being unlikely Wilson would be reappointed. Well whaddya know — on Saturday, Treasurer Scott Morrison’s office quietly announced that former ASIO head David Irvine — also former head of ASIS when that agency illegally bugged the East Timorese cabinet — would replace Wilson. Irvine was appointed to FIRB in the wake of the dust-up with the Americans over the long-term lease to a Chinese firm of the Port of Darwin, to provide a stronger national security focus to FIRB’s deliberations. Irvine, however, has no business or financial experience of any kind. Expect FIRB to be even more focused on blocking Chinese investment under the former spook.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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