9 May 2016
WWF WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE
WWF-Australia welcomes the decision of the Australian government to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).
“Transparency about payments the resources sector makes to governments is essential to stamp out corruption and ensure that citizens receive their fair share of the benefits from extractive industries,” said WWF-Australia spokesperson Dr Joshua Bishop said.
“Voluntary reporting in line with EITI is a step in the right direction.
“WWF acknowledges the role played by Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Australia in achieving this result.
“While governments receive payments from the resources sector they also provide generous financial support to the mining industry.
“This election, WWF is calling on the major parties to announce that, if elected, they will scrap more than $7.7 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies,” said Dr Bishop.
Longer term WWF believes the disclosure of information about taxes, licenses, royalties and other payments by resource companies should not be voluntary it should be a legal requirement.
Similarly, governments should disclose the direct and indirect subsidies they offer to extractive industries, including fuel tax rebates, publicly-funded infrastructure, investment tax credits and other tax-payer funded incentives.
There should also be increased accounting and reporting of the social and environmental impacts of the resources sector including noise, dust, water use, solid waste, greenhouse gas emissions, land use and rehabilitation.
Resource companies should ensure a net positive environmental return on the precious natural capital that is used or damaged in the process of extracting minerals.
More consistent measurement and reporting of environmental impacts is needed to enable citizens to judge whether extractive projects are making a real contribution to sustainable development.
The same principle applies to social impacts, including employment (local and foreign), skills development, the distribution of income and wealth, and contributions to local enterprise.
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Mark Symons, Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571, firstname.lastname@example.org