Review of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax: implications from a case study of the Gorgon gas project

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Australia has welcomed new business investment of $200 billion for integrated gas projects. However lower than expected tax receipts have tempered the early optimism of project benefits. In particular, petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) revenues since the 2002–03 financial year have fallen. These reduced revenues have raised concerns about the effectiveness of petroleum taxation in Australia and pressured the Australian Government to call for a review of the PRRT in late 2016. Examined are the modifications necessary to the petroleum fiscal regime to address one of the PRRT Review’s aims of providing an equitable return to the Australian community. Findings from a case study of an operational gas project include the need for PRRT modifications, and the addition of royalties for particular integrated natural gas projects in Commonwealth waters. The article is significant for its unique overview of Australia’s petroleum taxation since the fall in oil prices from mid-2014 and the rise of gas export projects. This interdisciplinary and empirical research forms an important contribution to the current Commonwealth PRRT Review through its recommendations for change to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Assessment Act 1987 (Cth). It calls for more uniform federal legislation for the taxation of petroleum resource projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-349
Number of pages35
JournalFederal Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2017


  • fiscal policy, Australia, petroleum, gas, taxation, resource rent tax, tax review, royalties

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