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 and additional policies on ethical conduct, governance, equal opportunity, anti-corruption, workplace health and safety and privacy.
These policies set out how Transurban will respond to, and investigate, reports of misconduct, and outlines the protections available to those who make a report.
All employees and suppliers are encouraged to report any breaches of Transurban’s Code of Conduct and associated policies. To support this process, Transurban has established a Whistleblower Policy and implemented a confidential, anonymous externally-hosted whistleblower reporting service.
Transurban also has a separate Ethical Business Practices Policy spanning fraud and corruption prevention, that sets the standards required from employees and stakeholders working with Transurban. The scope of this Policy includes the establishment of a Fraud and Corruption Officer and processes for the prevention, detection and investigation of reports of fraudulent or corrupt activity.
Governance, anti-corruption and fraud risks are also included in our business-wide enterprise 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 are relevant to our business. Accordingly, group policies permit payment for attending political functions to engage in such debate and discussion. In FY16, we paid US$94,900 to attend political events in the USA and $35,475 to attend events in Australia.
Transurban delivers significant benefits to governments by funding critical infrastructure that connects communities to drive economic growth. This requires significant upfront investment and risk-taking by Transurban and its partners to deliver long-term infrastructure projects.
This capital investment is amortised over the life of the asset, typically a period of up to 40 years, in line with Australian accounting rules and taxation law. In addition, interest costs associated with the funding of the development of the network is treated as an expense and deductible for taxation purposes.
These amortisation and interest charges, together with initial lower traffic volumes and lower toll charges, give rise to accounting and tax losses through the early period of the concessions held by Transurban. This results in a lower effective tax rate in the early stages of the infrastructure project operation.
Transurban’s stapled security structure allows it to distribute dividends from the commencement of infrastructure development, allowing dividend distributions to be made to investors even during accounting and tax losses in the early years, with security holders then taxed on the distributions.
In this way, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) may collect tax earlier than would be the case under a corporate structure. Transurban’s security and corporate structures are not designed to avoid the payment of tax.
For FY16, we reported that:
Transurban’s corporate tax profile is detailed on our website.