National Resources Tax Conference – “the challenge is staying ahead of the curve”.


It has been 2 years since the last National Resources Tax Conference and it has been a huge 24 months.

We spoke with speakers Brian Purdy, CTA, South32 and Damien Williams, KPMG ahead of their session at the National Resources Tax Conference - Online. They jokingly referred to themselves as the Elton John and Kiki Dee of the National Resources Tax Conference - Online (with Brian pointing out that he was Kiki Dee).

“We operate in at time of heightened awareness and quick developments in tax – the challenge is staying ahead of the curve” Brian & Damien began.

“Getting internal alignment in what matters in tax and what matters in the broader organisation is always important and more important than ever under the new pressures of COVID.”

Highlights at this year’s conference

Damien told us that he was looking forward to hearing from the great line up of speakers, covering a number of different topics in line with the latest range of trends and developments.

 “It is my debut as a speaker, so I am looking forward to getting out there to talk about transparency – an emerging area around the world. It’s a privilege to discuss the issue with Brian and really tease out both the technical and practical issues”.

Damien Williams, a Director at KPMG in Perth, primarily advises clients on their investments into or outbound from Australia with a particular focus on the resource industry.

Conference veteran Brian Purdy, Vice President - Tax for South32 Ltd, is responsible for all global tax matters, agreed and added “that industry conferences, specifically the National Resources Tax Conferences help to avoid blind spots.”

 “With such a diverse range of speakers the conference will provide a diverse range of issues to be addressed”.

Brian and Damien’s Session – Tax Transparency

As the National Resources Tax Conference – Online is known for its practical focus, the basis of this presentation is on the practical aspects, following a technical foundation.

Brian and Damien further explained that they will take delegates on a ‘transparency journey’ around the world, covering various rules & guidelines and discuss the differences and similarities around the world.

“We will cover global reporting initiative guidelines. Delegates should appreciate the complexity of this area and amount of information & differences” said Brian.

Brian hopes delegates will leave with a sense of the narrative and the knowledge to ensure they get the report right, before putting it out there.

“Damien will cover the rules and recommendations on what you, as a tax practitioner, have to do in this space. I will then go through what stakeholders look for, to ensure delegates gain a full understanding of the area” said Brian

Damien added, “Brian has practical experience and will cover how do you get the message out effectively, and how do you work it inside your organisation so it is effective & coherent with the rest of your organisation.”

Delegates will gain a complete understanding of the topic and what the opportunities are in this area. Brian and Damien recognised the challenges that practitioners may face in this area if they do not operate from head office.

“If you lack an understanding of what is happening within the whole company, you may miss this level of perspective. This is what we hope to give you during our session” says Brian.

Red Flags

“There are a lot of blind spots in this space due to a lot of rules & regimes. The difficulty lies in understanding which ones your organisation is subject to & how they differ to ones you are aware of” said Damien.

“Differences amongst those rules and consistency of information may meet one requirement but not another. Drawing out those examples is important.”

Brian added “another red flag is that ensuring you seek out all relevant stakeholders for disclosures.”

“Because you are publishing a company document you need to adhere to all the relevant rules and that all the external stakeholders have signed off on this. This will be further explored throughout the session” Brian says.

Why tax teams should attend the National Resources Tax Conference?

“The National Resources Tax Conference provides practical learnings, and it is this practical application that will allow delegates to fully understand how they need to work it into their day to day” said Damien.

Brian concluded, “The learnings and content at the National Resources Tax Conference is for everyone, heads of team and all the way through.”

“The content can be used effectively by teams, allowing different staff members to focus on different areas. Not to mention, everyone should go just to hear from such a strong tax line up.”

Join us for the 2020 National Resources Tax Conference

National Resources Tax Conference – Online: 11 - 25 November 2020

 This year’s National Resources Tax Conference – Online, kicking off on 11 November, will run over three jam-packed weeks.

 The virtual conference will cover all the important topics that tax professionals working in the resources sector, need to know about. Delegates will leave with a firm grasp of what is going on in the industry.

Find out more  Download brochure Register now

Speaker Biographies

Brian Purdy-1

Brian Purdy, CTA, is Vice President - Tax for South32 Ltd where he is responsible for all global tax matters. He joined South32 from BHP Billiton, where he was Vice-President Tax – Asia Pacific before moving into finance roles in the iron ore business. Brian is a graduate of University of Western Australia and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, The Tax Institute and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



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Damien Williams is a Director at KPMG and has over 14 years of tax experience primarily advising clients on their investments into or outbound from Australia with a particular focus on the resource industry. Damien has advised clients ranging from junior explorers making their first investments overseas to large scale multinational groups expanding their operations into new countries. Damien also worked for 2 years in KPMG’s office in Toronto to advice similar clients investing to and from Canada.



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