Greens to introduce Publish What You Pay Bill

THE resource industry has dismissed the need for a Greens bill targeting industry corruption.

Instead, it called for Australia to join an international anti-corruption organisation.

The Greens will introduce the Corporations Amendment (Publish What You Pay) Bill today after Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said she was concerned about "corruption, bribery, human rights abuses and environmental degradation" allegations.

"This bill is an important first step that the parliament can take immediately to crack down on Australian corruption overseas," she said.

"The bill creates mandatory reporting requirements for payments made overseas to help shine a light on what can be a murky and deliberately confusing corporate web.

"Australia can now join the global push for better transparency in the extractive industries.

"Around the world countries including the US, Canada and United Kingdom are all introducing mandatory reporting requirements such as these; coming together to create a global standard."

However, national industry body Minerals Council of Australia said the Commonwealth Government should instead sign up to the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

MCA community policy director Melanie Stutsel said the EITI was a proven anti-corruption organisation.

"A better approach, which has been recognised by developed and developing resource rich nations, global extractives companies and civil society organisations, is the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative - a global anti-bribery and corruption tool which seeks to independently reconcile and report mining company payments with the monies received by host governments," she said.

She said the council recognised the transparency's importance, and said many MCA member companies were already signatories to the EITI.

Ms Stutsel said the government was already considering EITI implementation which the MCA "strongly encouraged".

- APN NEWSDESK



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