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Foreign investment and tax on Nats agenda

Foreign investment and tax reform will be on the agenda when The Nationals meet for their federal conference in Canberra this weekend.

The Nationals and Liberals have been at odds over foreign investment in recent weeks, with shadow treasurer Joe Hockey accusing Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce of "freelancing" over the coalition's policy.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told a joint party room meeting this week it was OK to debate foreign investment, which is the subject of a coalition discussion paper now out for comment, but the coalition needed to show voters they were the "adults in the room".

Nationals members will vote on a motion calling for a national register of foreign ownership, either in collaboration with state governments or by requiring foreign investors to notify all investments.

The register would also include a list of foreign acquisitions of agricultural land and agribusinesses and require a review of any foreign purchase of agricultural land valued at $15 million or more.

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) would have to review any foreign investment in an agribusiness that exceeded $53 million or 15 per cent of an agribusinesses valued at more than $244 million, whichever was the smaller.

As well, the FIRB membership would be expanded from five to seven and include at least one person with expertise in the agricultural sector.

The Nationals' conference will be asked to pass a resolution, from the Queensland LNP, calling on a future coalition government to introduce a "fairer GST funding model where states and territories are not penalised for the applications of their own taxes and royalties".

Nationals leader Warren Truss will open the conference on Saturday morning, with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, and the deputy premiers of NSW and Victoria, Andrew Stoner and Peter Ryan, speaking at a Saturday lunchtime function.

Former Howard government minister Larry Anthony will contest the federal presidency against Gundagai-based wool and cattle producer Christine Ferguson.