Open Data for Australia's mining, oil, and gas sector

PWYP Australia works with the global Publish What You Pay coalition, a network of over 700 member organisations in over 40 countries around the world, united in their call for an open and accountable extractive sector, so that oil, gas and mining revenues improve the lives of women, men and youth in resource-rich countries. Australia’s global extractive presence far exceeds its size and we are one of the leading extractive industry players globally, with over 700 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed companies operating in more than 100 countries. Australia also enjoys a strong and positive international reputation for mining expertise and governance.

However, our leadership and reputation deteriorates when it comes to transparency and accountability standards for the sector. Research organisations, international civil society and the Australian Government have all acknowledged Australia has a data problem, noting our data are highly aggregated, spread across numerous sources, locked in PDF or often just not obtainable. It is both a quality, and quantity issue.In the absence of this official data,  PWYP Australia is committed to creating these data sets, publishing them in an open format, and visualising the data to show the size and impact of the Australian extractive sector, both domestically and internationally. PWYP Australia campaigns for open data to increase the accountability of Australian extractive companies, and demonstrate how a mandatory disclosure reporting requirement in line with EU and Canadian could remedy the opacity of Australian data and Australian companies operations.

In 2017 we released our report ‘Abundant resources, Absent Data: Measuring the Openness of Australian Listed Mining, Oil and Gas Companies on the African Continent’  which analyses publicly available data in an attempt to draw a comprehensive picture of our extractive presence – by company, country and project.  This report shows stakeholders a regional snapshot of what a mandatory disclosure law would cover in the Australian context and how this would enable citizens and governments to ensure that they are receiving a fair deal for the extraction of the natural resources and adds evidence to the ongoing conversation that deeper and more systematic data collection on company payments to governments is urgently required in Australia. The data set for the report was published and from that, ActionAid Australia has now made 3 subsequent reports and interactive map mapping Australia's fossil fuel projects and its gender impacts on the African continent creating an interactive global map.

This session will show how why found, cleaned and collated the data, how we analysed and visualised it, and the impact from our research.

Presentation type: Full length
Session: Data Matters


Jessie Cato

Jessie has been the National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Australia since 2015. PWYP Australia is a coalition of 25 organisations campaigning for greater transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas sector. She is a member of the Australian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) and is active in the Australian Open Government Partnership (OGP) process, with PWYP Australia being the lead civil society organisation for commitments on EITI, open contracting, and beneficial ownership. Before joining PWYP Australia, Jessie was based in Timor Leste as a gender officer with Seeds of Life and has also worked as a Ministerial Adviser to the South Australian Government. Jessie holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Adelaide. She is based in Melbourne.