Our conduct as an organisation and as individuals is crucial to the integrity and performance of our business.
Transurban’s Code of Conduct helps guide our employees in making decisions that are consistent with our values and our overall approach as a business. The Code of Conduct is supported by a number of training programs on ethics and conduct, governance, equal opportunity, anti-corruption, workplace health and safety and privacy.
All employees and suppliers are encouraged to report any breaches of Transurban’s Code of Conduct. Any alleged or reported breaches of this code are investigated by our Human Resources team. If they determine that a breach has occurred, the issue and any disciplinary actions are recorded.
Governance, anti-corruption and fraud risks are included in our business-wide risk framework to help create a consistent and rigorous approach to identifying, analysing and evaluating risks. The framework is overseen by the Audit and Risk Committee and is actively managed by the Executive Committee, with outcomes reported to our Board.
Transurban participates in public policy debate on issues that may impact our business, but does not make political donations. Payment for attendance at political functions is sometimes required, but only approved if made in accordance with Transurban’s internal policy and review requirements. In FY15, we paid US$93,500 to attend political events in the USA and $26,570 to attend events in Australia.
Transurban invests in large-scale infrastructure projects that require large, up-front investment. We recover that investment over time as we operate and toll roads over the course of our concession deeds, typically multiple decades.
The front-loaded nature of our capital expenditure and debt funding means that under Australian tax law, Transurban Group itself does not pay tax in the early years of a concession. As revenues grow in the latter half of the concession periods, Transurban will make larger tax payments.
In FY15, Transurban provided a submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance, alongside more than 100 other major Australian organisations. The submission explains that Transurban does not pay corporate tax in the early years of its concessions due to the tax amortisation of billions of dollars of initial capital investment and interest on its associated debt funding.
In the submission, we also outlined the significant benefits we deliver to governments and communities by funding critical infrastructure that connects communities and drives economic growth. This is supported by independent assessments —including one study by KPMG in 2015 — that estimate that billions of dollars in economic benefit are provided annually by toll road infrastructure by enabling roads to be built sooner than with alternative government funding models.
We also estimate that close to $750 million of tax has been paid by our security holders on distributions paid to date. As our concessions mature, Transurban will ultimately pay significant amounts of tax to the ATO.
Transurban’s submission to the Inquiry, as well as those of other Australian organisations, can be seen in full here.