Mining lobby dominated by foreign interests

New research released today by the Australia Institute shows that the mining industry is dominated by foreign corporate interests that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars influencing our political process.

The report finds that:

  • Total revenue of mining lobby groups over the last 10 years is $524,150,431, with the Minerals Council of Australia accounting for $203,132,666 of this
  • Mining lobby groups are dominated by foreign owned interests, with foreign companies holding 5 out of 10 positions on the Minerals Council board and 7 out of 12 on the Queensland Resources Council board
  • Mining industry spending on lobbying has cost taxpayers at least $157.2 million over the decade
  • Mining lobby group revenue is increasing over time, and peaked in 2011-12 at $90.4 million, coinciding with the Minerals Resource Rent Tax debate

“The mining industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars influence to our political process through its peak lobby groups. Hundreds of millions more is being spent by individual companies,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

“These lobby groups are dominated by foreign corporate interests. 83% of the mining industry is foreign owned, and foreign interests hold the majority of board positions in the mining lobby.”

“Foreign corporate mining interests are attempting to influence government to help increase their profits. They are not acting in the public interest, and in fact can distort sound economic decision making.”

“As well as damaging our policy making process, the mining industry spend on lobbying has cost taxpayers over $150 million this decade,” Oquist said.

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