WA Gas Royalties Set To Plummet: Budget Analysis

Australia Institute

This means by 2027-28 Western Australian motorists will pay 6 times more in vehicle registration than the gas industry pays in royalties.

Key Findings

  • In 2022-23, royalties from WA’s gas exports were $1.5 billion and made up just 3.4 % of WA Government revenue
  • In 2023-24, royalties are expected to drop to $647 million (just 1.4% of revenue), falling again to just $258 million (0.6%) by 2027-28.
  • By contrast, the vehicle registration fees paid by WA motorists will exceed $1.3 billion in 2024-25; double the value of oil and gas royalties.
  • In 2027-28 the $258 million in forecast oil and gas royalties will equate to:
    • Just 5% of forecast iron ore royalties ($5.7 billion).
    • 1/6 of forecast vehicle registration revenue ($1.6 billion).
    • Less than half the value of forecast lithium royalties ($623 million).
    • Half the value of forecast gold royalties ($526 million).

“The return to the WA community from oil and gas production is tiny, and set to shrink further,” said Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute.

“This is shocking given that WA is one of the biggest LNG exporters in the world and both state and federal governments are planning on expanding gas production.

“Vast amounts of gas are exported from WA, but this doesn’t benefit Western Australians. It’s multinational gas corporations that make enormous profits while paying little in return.

“While community-owned gas resources are given away for next to nothing, it’s Western Australian households and businesses that will have to pay for things like schools, hospitals and public housing.”

Figure 1: WA Government revenue from gas exports vs vehicle registration
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