News: A transparent mining and oil industry is one step closer: Publish What You Pay Australia welcomes ALP commitment on mandatory disclosure

Source: PWYP Australia

Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Australia, a coalition of Australian civil society organisations campaigning for greater transparency in the mining, oil, and gas sectors, welcomes the Australian Labor Party commitment, announced today, to introduce a mandatory reporting regime for the extractives sector.

Australia enjoys a strong and positive international reputation for mining expertise. However, our leadership and reputation are clearly lacking when it comes to transparency and accountability standards for the sector.

“This is an important step towards a transparent oil and mining sector in Australia, and brings us one step closer to meeting the global reporting standard. Australia’s position as a world leader in mining, oil and gas activities should be matched by reporting standards that make us a leader in the fight against corruption and mismanagement in the extractive sector.” said PWYP Australia’s National Coordinator Jessie Cato. “Labor’s announcement is a huge step for transparency and accountability in Australia, and one that is long overdue for the notoriously opaque extractive sector.”

Mandatory disclosure reporting under Labor will require large Australian mining, oil, and gas companies to report all their payments to governments related to extraction on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis. Similar laws are already in effect in Canada, Norway, and the European Union.

Australia does not currently have a project level reporting requirement. A recent report by PWYP Australia, ‘Abundant Resources, Absent Data’, found 717 ASX listed extracting companies present in 105 countries. Outside Australia, ASX listed extractive companies are concentrated on the African continent. However, there were massive differences in project figures found by PWYP Australia from company reports to the figures quoted by the Australian Government, which could not be reconciled by PWYP Australia due to poor data quality or absence of data.

“Australia’s data problem is blatantly obvious when trying to observe our mining, oil or gas activities domestically or abroad.” Said Ms Cato. “Mandatory reporting not only provides us with accurate, timely, and publicly accessible information on where our companies are operating, but it is at the project level that a community can properly establish whether they are getting a fair deal for the extraction of their natural resources.”

PWYP Australia believes that Australian policy can and should support the sustainable development of natural resources in the countries we operate in, and in Australia.

“A global transparency standard has emerged, providing Australia with a clear path forward to step up. PWYP Australia congratulate Labor on taking this first step.”

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31 2017
Contact: Jessie Cato, National Coordinator
Jessie.Cato@victas.uca.org.au 0499 479 293
Download the release here.

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About Publish What You Pay Australia
Publish What You Pay Australia is a coalition of humanitarian, faith-based, environmental, anti-corruption, research and union organisations campaigning for greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. PWYP Australia works with the global Publish What You Pay coalition, a network of over 700 member organisations in more than 42 countries around the world, united in their call for an open and accountable extractive sector, so that oil, gas and mining revenues improve the lives of women, men and youth in resource-rich countries, including through advocacy for the mandatory disclosure of all payments made between extractive industry companies and governments on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis.

The current members of Publish What You Pay Australia are: Action Aid Australia, Aid Watch, Australian Conservation Foundation , Australian Council for International Development, A Billion Little Stones, Burma Campaign Australia, Caritas Australia, Catholic Mission, ChildFund Australia, Columban Mission Institute, Conservation Council of Western Australia, CFMEU – Mining and Energy, CAER – Corporate Analysis. Enhanced Responsibility, Economists at Large, Friends of the Earth Australia, Global Poverty Project, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Human Rights Law Centre, Jubilee Australia, Mineral Policy Institute, Oaktree Foundation, Oxfam Australia, Search Foundation, SJ Around The Bay, Tear Australia, Transparency International Australia, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, Uniting Church in Australia – Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and World Vision Australia.

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