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Turnbull government called on to explain where Australia’s offshore gas wealth is going

Heath Aston reports in the Brisbane Times (9.10.16) on questions raised over the reduced amount of royalties revenue collected by the federal government from Australia’s liquid natural gas exporters, compared with other major gas exporting countries.

‘It’s a story of two resource-rich countries with two very different ways of harnessing the wealth they are blessed with.

‘By 2021 Australia will eclipse the Persian Gulf state of Qatar to become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

‘In that year, when both countries are forecast to pump and ship roughly 100 billion cubic metres of LNG each, Qatar’s government will receive $26.6 billion in royalties from the multinational companies exploiting its offshore gasfields.

‘According to Treasury estimates, Australia will receive just $800 million for the same volume of gas leaving its shores.

‘The massive disparity – and prospect, first revealed by Fairfax Media, that Australia will receive no significant take from LNG for “decades” – has sparked calls for a public inquiry into the the petroleum resource rent tax or PRRT.

‘A letter co-signed by 21 left-leaning organisations and unions, including the ACTU, ActionAid, Greenpeace, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Uniting Church, has been sent to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by the Tax Justice Network urging a Parliamentary inquiry into PRRT.

‘… The 2010 Henry tax review warned that the PRRT “fails to collect an appropriate and constant share of resource rents from successful projects due to uplift rates that over-compensate successful investors for the deferral of PRRT deductions”.’

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