New Analysis: WA drivers pay more rego than gas companies pay in royalties

by Mark Ogge


New Australia Institute research released today shows that royalty payments by the gas industry are negligible and expected to contribute just 1.3% to this week’s WA budget.

The report finds that twice as much revenue is forecast to be collected from vehicle registration ($1.3 billion) than from gas royalties ($522 million) in the 2024-25 budget.

The research findings are presented on a prominent billboard at 263 Georges Terrace, Perth, in view of the WA Treasurer’s office, WA Parliament and tens of thousands of motorists daily. In part, the billboard reads: “WA motorists pay more in rego than the gas industry pays in royalties. Does that seem fair?”

Key findings:

  • The WA Government is expected to receive $522 million in royalties from the gas industry in 2024-25, down from $660 million in 2023-24, and will contribute just 1.3% to state government revenue.
  • This is less than half of the $1.319 billion expected from vehicle registration fees, up from $1,263 billion in 2023-24. [see Figure 1 below].
  • The gas industry also pays little in federal tax – the combined tax payments of Chevron, Exxon, Woodside and Shell raise less money than beer excise.
  • Just 0.7% of the state’s workforce is employed in oil and gas extraction.
  • In the current skills shortage, new gas projects will divert jobs from other industries rather than create additional jobs.

“Gas companies have been ripping off West Australians for too long,” said Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute.

“It is staggering that Western Australia’s motorists contribute more than twice as much to WA government revenue than the gas industry. These corporations make tens of billions of dollars annually selling gas that is owned by the public.

“The gas industry is fond of talking up its economic importance, but the data tells a very different story. Our research shows that Western Australians receive few benefits from the export of our gas.

“If foreign-owned gas companies paid their fair share, WA could have more teachers, health workers, schools, hospitals and renewable energy. WA voters should bear this in mind as the WA Government hands down its next budget.

“Budgets are about choices, and the WA Government can choose to help the community, or it can choose to give foreign-owned gas corporations a free ride.”

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