Large oil, gas and mining companies from Australia could be forced to disclose foreign taxes under a Bill Shorten-led Labor Government. Currently, large Australian mining companies only have to declare domestic government payments.
A ‘large’ producer in this context refers to companies with total assets exceeding $50 million, an annual turnover of $100 million, and/or an employee count exceeding 250 people.
The Australian arm of UK paper The Guardian produced an exclusive report this morning announcing the plan; according to Labor, the intention of the plan is to ensure Australian resources companies act as “good corporate citizens” by maintaining transparency, particularly regarding operations in poorer countries such as Papua New Guinea, Nauru and the Solomon Islands.
The plan is expected to cost $2.2 million over four years, and participant companies would be expected to start reporting on payments from mid-2020.
The plan will be formally announced by Matt Thistlethwaite, the shadow assistant treasury minister, at the Australian Council for International Development conference in Melbourne later today.
He is expected to focus on best practice for transparency and accountability among Australian producers. The Labor plan goes further than the Turnbull government’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) announced last year, which is the current accountability initiative for the Australian mining industry.