Rio Tinto climate policy resolution expected to fall short

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 1-May-18

A motion calling for Rio Tinto to review its relationship with industry groups will be put it shareholders at its AGM on 2 May. The motion has been filed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and has the support of investors such as HESTA and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. However, other Rio Tinto investors are expected to vote against it, and the motion is not expected to secure a majority. Nonetheless, ACCR executive director Brynn O’Brien will deem the motion to have been a success if 10 per cent of Rio Tinto’s shareholders vote for it.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM, LGIM, AEGON ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD

ACSI backs Rio lobby group review

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 20-Apr-18

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and Local Government Super will ask Rio Tinto shareholders to back a motion calling for the mining giant to review its relationship with industry groups. BHP Billiton undertook such a review after the ACCR instigated a similar push prior to its AGM in November. The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors is understood to be supportive of the ACCR’s motion at Rio Tinto’s AGM, which will be held in May. BHP’s review prompted it to leave the World Coal Association.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, LGSS PTY LTD, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED, WORLD COAL ASSOCIATION, UNITED STATES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, GLASS LEWIS AND COMPANY LLC

Billson faces rebuke for working two jobs

Original article by Adam Gartrell
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 11 : 27-Mar-18

Federal parliament’s privileges committee has recommended amending parliamentary rules so that MPs are banned from undertaking any paid lobbying. This follows its finding that former Small Business Minister Bruce Billson had not followed parliamentary standards when he undertook paid lobby work while he was still an MP. Billson, who left parliament after the June 2016 election, took on a paid role with the Franchise Council of Australia in March of that year. However, he did not disclose his appointment in the register of interests. Billson is expected to be censured by federal parliament as a result of the privileges committee’s findings.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, FRANCHISE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AGILE ADVISORY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

MCA cedes ground to BHP over climate

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 15-Mar-18

BHP Billiton may back down on its threat to withdraw from the Minerals Council of Australia after the lobby group released its revised climate policy. The MCA has been criticised by BHP for advocating coal-fired power generation, but its revised policy adopts a similar position to BHP regarding a "technology-neutral approach" to low-emission energy sources. Rio Tinto in turn has welcomed the MCA’s new policy stance and urged shareholders to reject resolutions to be put before its upcoming AGM by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

Coal lobby our biggest spender

Original article by Tom McIlroy, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 2-Feb-18

The Liberal Party received $A95.1 million in political donations in 2016-17, according to the Australian Electoral Commission, while Labor received $A70.8 million. The Greens received $A16.3 million, and the National Party received $A12.2 million. ACA Low Emissions Technologies, a company founded by the Minerals Council of Australia, spent the most on political campaigning ($A3.6 million), while the Minerals Council of Australia itself spent $A1.3 million. Left-wing activist group GetUp! spent $A821,000 on political campaigns.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, ACA LOW EMISSIONS TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, GETUP LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COAL ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ADANI MINING PTY LTD, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE LEASING AND SALARY PACKAGING ASSOCIATION., THE PHARMACY GUILD OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, ECHO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED – ASX EGP, ADANI MINING PTY LTD, CORMACK FOUNDATION PTY LTD, PROGRESSIVE BUSINESS PTY LTD, UNITED VOICE, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS, ERNST AND YOUNG, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED

Rio targeted by activist over MCA

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 30-Jan-18

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility will use Rio Tinto’s upcoming shareholders’ meetings in London and Melbourne to lobby the resources group to review its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia. Rio Tinto is said to have similar concerns as BHP Billiton regarding the MCA’s stance on issues such as climate change and coal-fired power generation. BHP will decide whether to retain its MCA membership by the end of 2018, in response to lobbying by the ACCR.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, WORLD COAL ASSOCIATION

Minerals Council pushes back over BHP threat

Original article by Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 21-Dec-17

A Minerals Council of Australia spokesman says it intends to keep lobbying on the issues of climate and energy policy. This is despite BHP Billiton’s threat to cancel its membership if the MCA continues to advocate polices that are contrary to its own. However, BHP’s 50 per cent stake in the Bass Strait gas fields means it has less exposure to rising electricity prices on the east coast than fellow MCA members such as Rio Tinto and Glencore. BHP’s share of Bass Strait gas is equivalent to about 10 per cent of domestic demand for gas on the east coast. In contrast, BHP’s mining operations on the east coast account for around one per cent of National Energy Market demand.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, GLENCORE PLC, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Media united on job fears

Original article by David Crowe
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Jun-17

Executives from rival Australian media companies joined forces on 30 May to lobby federal politicians to support cross-media ownership reforms. The Australian Labor Party and the Greens were widely criticised for opposing reforms such as abolition of the "two out of three rule". Industry executives used the summit at Parliament House to stress that local content and jobs will be at risk if the existing regime is not changed to enable local media players to compete with digital giants such as Google and Facebook.

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX TEN, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION AND RADIO ASSOCIATION (ASTRA) INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ONE NATION PARTY, NICK XENOPHON TEAM, TPG CAPITAL LP, HELLMAN AND FRIEDMAN

Late bid by media bosses to sway ALP

Original article by David Crowe
The Australian – Page: 6 : 31-May-17

Media executives will lobby federal politicians to support cross-media ownership reforms at meetings on 31 May. The support of Senate cross-benchers is likely to be crucial, as the Australian Labor Party still opposes abolition of the "two-out-of-three" rule. Communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland argues that media ownership is already too concentrated under the existing regime. However, she says Labor would vote to scrap the "reach rule" if it is put to parliament in a separate bill.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ONE NATION PARTY, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX TEN, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS

Robb joins fight over free-to-air licence fees

Original article by Jake Mitchell
The Australian – Page: 23 : 9-Dec-16

The Ten Network’s remuneration report was rejected by 17.06 per cent of votes cast at the 2016 AGM. Ten is lobbying the Federal Government for a further reduction in TV broadcasting licence fees, but chairman David Gordon concedes that these efforts have had limited effect to date. Ten director Andrew Robb, who stepped down as trade minister earlier in 2016, says both major political parties recognise that local networks pay higher licence fees than their overseas peers. He adds that the government’s fiscal problems may be delaying reform.

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX TEN, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS