Magazine of the Socialist Party in Australia

Mining companies grease the wheels

A new report by The Australia Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation has laid bare the ongoing corruption that is rife between the mining sector and both the major parties.

The report, “Greasing the Wheels: the systematic weaknesses that allow undue influence of mining companies on government, a Qld case study”, provides an account of mining companies using political donations to influence high level government personnel in order to further their profit interests.

The report highlights how mining companies routinely donate to federal coffers, where funding sources are difficult to trace, then money is directed back to state parties.

Questions are now being asked about the Queensland government’s irresponsible approval of Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine. They blatantly ignored dire environmental impact reports predicting pollution leading to the death of significant portions of the Great Barrier Reef.

These rotten deals between big business and the major parties illustrate that, under capitalism, companies will always find ways to funnel money to the government in exchange for political favours.

The remedy is to remove the profit motive and run the mining industry for the public good. That way corruption could be eliminated and we could prioritise the phasing out of mining for fossil fuels.

By Robyn Trott