Sustainability is a regular agenda item at Executive Committee meetings, and all major issues and initiatives are reviewed and presented to the Transurban Board annually.
Ethics and conduct Transurban’s values define how we want to operate as a business – and the way we want our employees to interact and undertake their work.
We have a Code of Conduct that helps guide our employees in making decisions that are consistent with our values and our overall approach as a business.
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 then investigated by our Human Resources team. If they determine that a breach has occurred, the issue and any disciplinary actions are recorded.
We also actively manage our fraud and corruption risks through a formal Fraud Management Program. The program’s outcomes are reported annually to our executive team and to the Board via the Audit and Risk Committee.
To proactively manage fraud risks, employees from across all business units participate in workshops about the prevention, detection and internal reporting of suspected fraud or corrupt behaviour.
In the USA and Australia we have separate policies for political donations – in line with the laws of these jurisdictions – and we report our contributions accordingly. Both these policies only allow for donations to attend fundraising functions. In the USA, we paid US$99,750 to attend political events and in Australia we paid $16,300 to attend fundraising events.
Tax treatment This year, our business and other Australian corporates received some negative media attention over our income tax contributions.
Transurban invests in large-scale infrastructure projects that also require large, up-front capital investment. This expenditure is depreciated – together with the debt that helps to fund it – over the construction period, when there is no toll revenue, and also during the concession (contract) period.
Under Australian tax law, Transurban Group itself does not pay tax in the early years of the concession. This is due to the tax treatment of the billions of dollars we invest into the road networks on Australia's eastern seaboard. The current tax position for the Group reflects the depreciation of these substantial investments over 40 years. As the revenues grow in the latter half of the concession periods, Transurban will make larger tax payments.
Distributions paid to security holders in a trust are taxed in the hands of investors. Approximately 70 per cent of our security holders are Australian superannuation fund managers and retail investors who are subject to tax on these distributions. Based upon an assumed security holder profile over the period, more than $750M in tax has been paid on distributions since 2002. Transurban does not include investor paid tax in our financial reports.