Corporate Manoeuvers Behind Planning Bill Revealed

Corporate Manoeuvers Behind Planning Bill Revealed

Hunter Valley Greens Councillor James Ryan said ‘I am disturbed bythe leaked email from Rio Tinto Coal Australia urging middle management in Hunter Valley mines to  encourage employees to engage in political lobbying on behalf of Rio Tinto.

The lobbying related to the NSW Planning legislation which was debated in Parliament this week. The email provided a script for employees to use.

Development interests claimed the amendments (which allow resident input into planning decisions, affordable housing contributions, and repeal the recent Mining SEPP changes) were not acceptable. Minister Hazzard agreed with the development industry and refused to put the amended Bill through the Lower House again to become law.

‘I do not believe that any employee should be asked by their employer to engage in political lobbying. I am concerned that the request could be interpreted by employees as one they should comply with in order to be looked on favourably by the company.’ Said Clr Ryan

‘The Coal Mining industry has done very well in NSW even before the amendments to the Mining SEPP. To suggest that a single refusal by the Land & Environment Court of a very bad mining proposal (the Warkworth Extension) places the industry at risk is a gross overstatement.’

 NSW Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson, David Shoebridge said:  “Rio Tinto have tried to disguise their own corporate lobbying as something generated by the community.’

‘They have obviously taken a page out of Clive Palmer’s tactics from the federal election campaign. There is a disturbing pattern developing here where the corporate power of the mining industry is being used to direct the politics of their employees.’

“This is ugly and debased politicking from one of Australia’s largest corporations,” Mr Shoebridge said.

James Ryan  0414 922 591

David Shoebridge 0408 113 952

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