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Environmental Charities Engaged in Bitter Stand-Off with Mining Lobby Over Advocacy

Environmental charities and the mining lobby are engaged in a bitter stand-off over political advocacy, with the mining sector’s attempt to curtail environmental advocacy undermined by a new report accusing foreign mining companies of lobbying against Australian interests.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has made a submission to the Treasury’s Tax Deductible Gift Recipient Reform Opportunities inquiry, in which it recommended limiting environmental charities from using more than 10 per cent of their expenditure on advocacy.

In its submission, MCA outlined the importance of ensuring all organisations engaged in political advocacy were subject to the same rules of transparency.

“While political parties are obliged to disclose the source of donations greater than $13,200, environmental groups can spend millions of dollars every year without having to disclose the identities or locations of their donors,” the submission said.

“This lack of transparency constitutes a potential threat to Austalia’s [sic] sovereignty, by allowing foreign interests to exert political influence by covertly funding domestic environmental groups.”

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