Australia to join Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

AGORA moderator's picture

Federal Resources and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has revealed that Australia will join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international standard for increased transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The EITI is a global coalition of companies, civil societies and governments from 51 countries working to improve transparency and accountability in the global resources sector. Countries implementing the EITI disclose information on taxes and other payments made by companies in these sectors to governments. EITI members also disclose information related to licences, contracts, production rates and exports. “By joining the EITI, we ensure that our domestic policy is consistent with international efforts to increase transparency, including in tax systems. This will provide significant benefits for Australian companies through improved global investment conditions resulting from consistent and open reporting standards for the world’s resources sector,” the Minister said. “It will also allow Australia to demonstrate leadership in transparency and anticorruption matters and strengthen its credibility in advocating the adoption of the EITI by other countries.” Australia is one of the largest and longest-serving supporters of the EITI, having committed more than A$20-million in funding since 2007. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed the move, with CEO Brendan Pearson saying it underlined the Australian minerals sector’s strong commitment to revenue transparency. “Many Australian mining companies already participate in EITI-compliant reporting processes around the world,” Pearson added. He pointed out that, since 2011, the MCA has conducted a yearly tax survey in conjunction with Deloitte Access Economics. More recently, the MCA has been a constructive participant in the development of the voluntary tax transparency code, which was released by the Malcolm Turnbull government in last week’s Budget.