“We do not support changes that limit public advocacy to 10 percent of funds, or requirements to spend 25 percent of funds on environmental remediation.”
Having already rocked the mining industry’s peak lobby, BHP’s determined pursuit of an independent public affairs course in the name of renewing and enhancing corporate social licence has now triggered angry resentment within some powerful pockets of the federal government.
The fulcrum of this latest bout of BHP-fuelled anxiety is a letter from the company to a small community of charity organisations in the middle of October and that followed a meeting between management and the lobbies in late September.
In its letter, dated October 16 and written by sustainability and public affairs officer, Tony Cudmore, BHP reiterates that it is actively reviewing membership of the Minerals Council of Australia and other industry lobby memberships and then goes on to announce management’s opposition to flagged government reforms to the tax status of charitable organisations in Australia.
Cudmore opened the October communiqué by restating the breadth and intent of the already-flagged internal review of its associations and its determination to advertise points of policy difference between the company and its lobbies.
“In relation to the MCA, as you are aware we have committed to complete our review of industry association memberships by December 31 this year, including the MCA, and we will make outcomes of that review public,” he said. “This will include a list of any material differences on climate and energy policy.”
The letter was sent following a September meeting with the leadership of four community organisations, two of them leading environmental protection lobbies (the World Wildlife Fund and the Australian Conservation Foundation) and two peak councils (the Australian Council for International Development and the Community Council for Australia).
The meeting was held three days after the abrupt resignation of MCA chief executive Brendan Pearson.… Read more >>