The NSW government is investigating claims a Chinese developer promised overseas investors a permanent resident visa in Australia if they bought into a NSW Hunter Valley land deal.
Profit Palace Group was said to be offering residency in as little as six months and access to Australia’s “social welfare benefits”, News Corp Australia reported on Monday.
NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts labelled it “concerning” and said it did not pass the “pub test”.
He has referred the matter to his department for investigation.
“It’s the expectation of people in this nation that people can’t buy their way into permanent residency or citizenship,” Mr Roberts told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
“Fair Trading will investigate, my department will have a look at how this occurred, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
He said the state government would be the least of company head Jiang Xiao’s worries, suggesting he was probably in breach of a number of Chinese laws.
“And that’s a matter for the Chinese government.”
Mr Roberts suggested the federal government consider strengthening its foreign investment laws and that the NSW government also look at improving its relevant laws.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Monday said any false claims or promises being made about real estate deals would be properly investigated by police and/or agencies across Australia.
“If people have any information, please come forward to the Australian Border Force or to the Department of Home Affairs with that information and it will be properly investigated,” he said.