Australia missing out on wealth boost from LNG boom, academic claims

Heath Aston
20 June 2016

The contribution to federal tax revenues from multinational oil and gas companies has slumped and a senior academic has warned that the mega gas projects coming online off the Western Australian coast will not contribute a single dollar in royalty payments "in her lifetime".

The dire forecast for what little the next stage of the mining boom will deliver calls into question claims by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that their parties are committed to "cracking down" on multinational tax avoidance.

The only royalty-like payment applicable to liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Commonwealth waters, including the $US70 billion Gorgon plant operated by Chevron, is the "petroleum resource rent tax" (PRRT).

Despite the $200 billion invested in LNG over the past decade – putting Australia on track to surpass Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of LNG by 2019 – there is little or no sign of any benefit to the nation via the PRRT.

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