PM weighs in on foreign investor debate

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has thrown his weight behind foreign investment in Australia's real estate market.

In a keynote address at The Australian-Melbourne Institute Conference, Mr Abbott responded to questions on foreign investment in real estate in Australia. 

Mr Abbott acknowledged it was an "emotional issue”, before stating all Australians have benefited from foreign investment.

"Our country is unimaginable without foreign investment," said Mr Abbott, who added that Australia has benefited from Britain’s original foreign investment because the country was “unsettled” before the British arrived.

Mr Abbott said "If I want to sell my place [then] foreign investment might make sense, but if my neighbour wants to sell his place [then] foreign investment might be the last thing we want.”

When explaining why foreign investment was so important for Australia, Mr Abbott said the country would be "unimaginable" without it.

"As a general principle we support foreign investment. Always have and always will," he said.

"Our country is unimaginable without foreign investment.

"I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled or, scarcely-settled, Great South Land," he added. 

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