Glencore is attempting to bypass an Independent Planning Commission ruling and NSW Heritage Council advice with threats to remove a heritage nominated property in the Hunter Valley and mine for coal underneath.
Media reported this morning the multi-national coal mining giant still plans to dismantle the Ravensworth homestead for its Glendell expansion, despite the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) rejecting the proposal last year due to the threat it posed to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage values of the property.
Shortly following the IPC’s decision, the NSW Heritage Council began the process of nominating the Ravensworth Estate for state heritage listing. The public submission period for that process ends tomorrow (March 14).
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW spokesperson Nic Clyde said there were concerns Glencore would try to resubmit its Glendell coal mine expansion proposal immediately after the election, but before the Heritage Council had finished its assessment.
“We’re calling for immediate, interim protection of the Ravensworth Estate so the Heritage Council can do its work without pressure from Glencore,” he said.
“Glencore ought to respect the IPC’s decision and the Heritage Council’s assessment process, but instead it has spat the dummy and is refusing to take no for an answer, attempting to bypass the process and move the homestead regardless.
“This sorry situation really shows how broken NSW’s planning laws are. Communities shouldn’t have to live with ongoing uncertainty after the IPC has clearly told Glencore that the removal of the Ravensworth Homestead is not acceptable.
“Unfortunately, this is an example of a multinational coal mining company with fat pockets thinking it can ride roughshod over our priceless state heritage.
“Glencore has an appalling record overseas involving systemic bribery and market manipulation, and is now showing contempt for due process on Australian heritage protection.
“The Heritage Council has highlighted the significance of the site and adjoining areas to many Wonnarua Traditional Owners due to extensive frontier colonial violence.
“It’s important this history is now acknowledged and amends are made, rather than Glencore attempting to bypass the proper processes that are in place."
Glencore has an appalling global corporate track record. Recent scandals involving the company include:
Glencore has been found guilty of systematic bribery and “sustained criminality” overseas. In November 2022, Glencore was fined £281m in the UK, the largest ever payment imposed on a company in a UK court.
In May 2022, the US Department of Justice advised that Glencore Entered Guilty Pleas to Foreign Bribery and Market Manipulation Schemes and agreed to pay US$1.1 billion as a settlement. “The scope of this criminal bribery scheme is staggering,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York.
In Australia, Glencore is facing an investigation by ASIC over greenwashing and “misleading and deceptive” conduct linked to their claims about cutting carbon emissions.
According to Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, “Glencore remains one of the largest members of some of Australia’s biggest blockers of climate action: the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the NSW Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).