Debate over oil and gas taxes heats up

Paul Osborne
8 March 2017

The Turnbull government is facing pressure from the oil and gas industry not to push ahead with changes to reap billions of dollars in tax revenue from the fast-growing LNG industry.

Revenues from the 40 per cent petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) levied on profits generated from petroleum commodities had halved since 2012/13, while crude oil excise revenues have more than halved.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has asked former Treasury official Michael Callaghan to report by April - just weeks before the federal budget - on ways to ensure the taxes are still operating as they were originally intended and determine why there has been a revenue dive.

The Tax Justice Network says by 2021 Australia's LNG exports will exceed those of Qatar. But the PRRT will not generate any revenues for decades, while Qatar collects $26.6 billion in LNG royalties.

The network has proposed extending the 10 per cent commonwealth royalty to all current and future offshore oil and gas projects that are otherwise only subject to the PRRT.

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