Perth Mint urged to come clean on finance law breaches

Perth Mint should acknowledge its board was ultimately responsible for breaches of money laundering and terrorism financing laws, a Senate committee says.

Its operator Gold Corporation should also publish a clear statement identifying governance failures, said the Senate committee's report examining compliance with commonwealth law.

This includes listing the events leading to the breaches and the information the board passed to the corporation's owner, the WA government.

"Such a statement would send a message that the required cultural change within the board has occurred," the committee said in its findings.

"Without a clear acknowledgement and understanding of the causes of past mistakes, there can be no guarantee that these mistakes won't be repeated in the future."

Gold pour
A Senate committee says the board that runs the mint should acknowledge its ultimate responsibility. (Theron Kirkman/AAP PHOTOS)

The report tabled in federal parliament on Friday also recommended that a 2020 internal audit report be provided to the WA parliament, along with regular updates detailing its progress cleaning up its act under an enforceable undertaking to the federal financial intelligence agency.

The WA government should also advise the state parliament what it would cost taxpayers if the 125-year-old gold refiner and producer failed to meet its obligations to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

Gold Corp entered an enforceable undertaking with AUSTRAC in 2023 after it found the mint had breached anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

The committee made 10 recommendations in its report that also included dissent from Labor senators, who said the committee was used by its members and the WA opposition to air state-related issues.

"Leading members of the WA opposition appeared before the committee and repeated concerns that had already been raised in the media," the document said.

"Despite the protections provided by the committee process, the WA opposition was not able to present the committee with any detailed evidence of criminal behaviour.

"It is unfortunate that the resources of the Senate were used to ventilate what is primarily a state issue."

The Senate committee recommended the WA government conduct its own inquiry into the matters leading to AUSTRAC enforcing an undertaking.

Gold Corp said the company was making excellent progress upgrading its money laundering and counter-terrorism financing systems, and all elements of the program are either on track or ahead of schedule.

"The fully funded program has been endorsed by external auditors as robust and sustainable and we look forward to completing all our obligations required by the undertaking as agreed by April next year," a spokeswoman said in a statement.