The regulation of resource projects through State Agreements lacks transparency.
This means a company’s influence over political decisions can lead to terms that are favourable to the company but do not consider the best interests of the community and industry more broadly. There needs to be greater transparency and public awareness of how these Agreements are established and operate.
A State Agreement Act is the approval by Parliament of a contract between the State and a company to build or operate a specified development. State Agreements enable governments and a company to structure regulation for an operation where existing law is absent or inappropriate.
This factsheet outlines the risks related to a lack of transparency and accountability in the process, and proposes a better way forward.