Committees: Economics Reference Committee - Oil and Gas

19 September 2019

Senator Patrick: I move:

(1) That the Senate notes that:

   (a) Australia's oil and gas reserves are valuable sovereign resources which are finite;

   (b) in 2018, natural gas and crude petroleum exports represented 11.7% of Australia's total exports in dollar value;

   (c) the Australian Tax Office tax transparency data, released by the Australian Tax Office, provides clear indications that many oil and gas companies operating in Australia are paying very little or no corporate tax and limited petroleum rent resource tax;

   (d) by means of comparison, in a single year (2018), the following overseas national or state-owned oil and gas companies reported the following taxes to the respective governments in the amounts of:

      (i) Equinor (Norway) paid AUD$28 billion tax on AUD$105 billion revenue,

      (ii) Pemex (Mexico) paid AUD$29 billion in tax on AUD$99 billion revenue, and

      (iii) Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia) paid AUD$67 billion on $478 billion revenue; and

   (e) research activities undertaken by both UMR Research Pty Ltd and the CSIRO supports the view that the majority of Australians are of the opinion that the economic benefits of mining in Australia are not distributed fairly.

(2) That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report on the first sitting: day in March 2020:

   (a) arrangements used by other countries to maximise the benefit to the public of national oil and gas reserves;

   (b) arrangement that could be considered to maximise benefit to the public of Australia's national oil and gas resources, cognisant of:

      (i) sovereign risk,

      (ii) existing property rights, and

      (iii) federal and state jurisdictions; and

   (c) any related matters.

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