A $200 million audit of companies in the coal industry could lead one federal agency to reevaluate how mining companies are audited.
The Auditor-General has said that $1 billion of a $3 billion audit would be spent on the mining industry.
It was unclear on Wednesday if that money would be used for the audit or to find out if the mining companies have made any improvements to the way they are auditing their own operations.
The audit has raised concerns from some industry stakeholders that the audit could open up the prospect of a return to the old way of auditing the companies.
“It’s not a good idea to have this kind of funding that we’re giving,” Senator Michael Chan told reporters on Wednesday.
“This is a really important issue for the Australian public, and it’s something we need to have a conversation about.”
The Auditor General’s office said the $1 million allocated for the project could not be used to audit companies because the money would have been spent on other activities.
The office said it would look at whether the mining giant BHP would continue to provide services and ensure it was audited in a way that ensured the audit’s findings are valid and up to date.BHP is the world’s largest gold miner and is the country’s largest operator of gold mines.
The auditor general’s office says it is aware of concerns about the audit and is in discussions with the company.BHPs spokesperson said the company is confident the audit will be conducted in a timely manner.
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