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Australia: Minerals Council withdraws previous support for policies limiting advocacy by environmental organizations

Author: Michael Slezak, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 28 November 2017

"Mining industry body retreats from hardline stance on charities", 27 Nov 2017

Australia’s mining industry has stepped back from its hard line on trying to limit the charity sector’s lobbying on energy and climate change issues. The Minerals Council of Australia says it does not support policies requiring environmental charities to devote most of their resources to on-the-ground remediation, despite previously writing submissions to government calling for it to consider such policies. Although the new stance seems to contradict earlier statements, the MCA insists there has been no change in its position. The move comes amid fractures between the MCA’s membership over the tough approach, with BHP recently publicly distancing itself from the MCA’s position on activity requirements for environmental charities. “They’ve over-reached in bashing-up on civil society, coal and climate and energy issues,” said...the Australia Institute, [which] pressured the MCA to clarify its position. “They’ve gone rogue and they’re being pulled back – and that’s a good thing.”...[I ]n August ..the MCA published its submission to federal Treasury’s inquiry... [I]t said Treasury’s proposal to allow environmental charities to only spend 50% of their expenditure on political advocacy was “sound in principle”, but urged Treasury to consider limiting it further to just 10%...

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Related companies: BHP Billiton