Originally published in the West Australian 09 November 2018

The assertion that changes to the deeply flawed petroleum resources rent tax (PRRT) risk frightening away investment doesn’t stack up (Caution needed on tax overhaul for oil and gas industry, Editorial, 6/11).

Compared to other countries, our taxation arrangements are ridiculously generous. In some cases, we are allowing multinationals to extract and export our gas without paying anything to the owners of those resources, the Australian people.

Gas-rich Western Australia in particular loses out under this broken system, missing out on significant revenue and reducing our economic wellbeing.

A report commissioned by industry lobby group the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association contains an analysis confirming that Australia’s tax regime provides little return to the public, relative to other countries.

Major gas producing countries such as Malaysia, Norway and Qatar derive far greater shares of project benefits than Australia, yet have no trouble attracting investment in their gas sectors.Given our own economic and fiscal woes, WA can no longer
afford to serve as Treasure Island for multinationals.

Canberra needs to put in place a tax system that delivers a fair return for the use of our
finite resources. If major party politicians won’t do this due to the donations they receive from the big gas companies, then they deserve to be replaced by people who will put the Australian people first.

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