The Australian government has announced that foreign investors may have to pay large fees before buying residential real estate or businesses in the country.

Under the new proposals, a foreign investor who wants to buy Australian property worth up to AU$1million would have to pay a AU$5,000 application fee to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Investments over AU$1m will incur a AU$10,000 fee for every extra million dollars in the purchase price.

With soaring property prices in the headlines almost daily, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government was proposing a range of penalties and fees linked to foreign investment in a bid to address claims that foreign investment is artificially boosting house prices.

The moves to apply charges to the residential market follow announcements earlier this that the Australian government will tighten rules for foreign investment in agricultural land.

“We do want Australians to be operating on a level playing field,” said Abbott. “This government is determined to ensure that the aspirational people of our country get the fairest possible go.”