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Welcome to Corporate Watch Australia

Corporation Maintenance Interviews

Contractors at Asbestos Watch Adelaide explained why asbestos roof removal services are vital for buildings with ACMs.

Corporate Watch Australia is a project of Global Trade Watch. Corporate Watch Australia monitors the social and environmental impacts of Australian corporations operating here and abroad, as well as international corporations operating in Australia.

The site aims to do three key things:

  1. To initiate and publish original research on the environmental, labour, or human rights records of Australian corporations and international corporations operating in Australia;
  2. To act as a clearing-house for research and publications by unions, environment groups, development groups and other monitoring groups about the practices of these corporations, and to foster links between these groups;
  3. To undertake advocacy on issues of corporate accountability and corporate law reform within Australia.

If you'd llike to contribute to this site, please don't hesitate to email us at info@corporatewatch.org.au

Are you investing in uranium? New Report

The new Corporate Watch Australia Report into uranium and ‘ethical investment’ is now available. This research surveyed key funds managers on their positions regarding uranium mining and nuclear power, and found a disturbing level of discrepancy and varied standards within the so-called responsible investment sector on this issue.

To read the full report, please download it here.

To read the article ‘what’s ethical about uranium’, please click here.

The report has also been the subject of media attention since its release. To have a look at this research in the media, please follow these links:

Booming Chinese Demand Has Ripples Down Under In Queensland

Booming Chinese Demand Has Ripples Down Under In Queensland
by Patrick O'Keeffe, Special to CorpWatch (US)
April 16th, 2008

[Excerpt from Corporate Watch US] For the full article please visit www.corpwatch.org

"You could open up the book on any tropical bird and you'll find it here," says Tub Wilson, as he looks around the creek on his former property, a 60-acre spread adjacent to the Keela wetlands in northern Queensland, Australia. "Jeez, I'm going to miss this," he sighs. His friend, Maria MacDonald, agrees: "It's just majestic, beautiful. It's got a special aura about it. It's timeless, a real spiritual place."

Tub’s property will probably be swallowed up by the state government's massive industrial plans for the wetlands that include expanding the port and the railway, and building a new alumina refinery. Wilson mounted a three-year resistance to the development but recently agreed to sell his land to the Ports Corporation of Queensland, for fear that it might soon be worthless. However, both Wilson and MacDonald continue to organize against the development.

MacDonald has just returned from her local shopping center in the nearby town of Bowen with 70 signatures for her petition against construction of the refinery, which is one of the biggest new schemes being planned for the area. “I want to get the community to feel valued, to feel that their opinions matter. Community spirit is very much down,” she says. “We need to care for one another, but everyone's a bit scared to share.”

Chalco's Plans

The new developments are part of the state government's Northern Economic Triangle strategy (which former Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, defines as “all about taking advantage of the present global surge in demand for minerals and metals.”). It also aims to boost the local economy through the development of infrastructure, such as the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal, from an annual capacity of 12 million tons to 21 million tons, with the port eventually set to grow to a capacity of 100 million tons. According to the Queensland Government, the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal will necessitate further development of existing rail networks.

One of the major projects in the Triangle strategy is the refinery, which may soon be developed in Keela or one of two neighboring areas by Chalco (the Aluminum Corporation of China Limited). This is a joint stock company set up in 2001 and now listed on both the New York and Hong Kong stock exchanges. Chalco is China's largest alumina and primary aluminum producer and the world's second largest alumina producer.

For the full article please visit www.corpwatch.org

Corporate Watch Australia Website Re-design

Please note that this website is currently being overhauled. The new Corporate Watch Australia website, together with updated content, will be online at the end of August. Until then please bear with us.

Thank you,

Corporate Watch Oz 

Update: ACCC to crack down on greenwashing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) plans to investigate environmentally friendly marketing claims receiving complaints about the widespread "greenwashing" of consumer and industrial products.

The investigation was triggered by a spate of complaints, including Corporate Watch Australia’s complaint to the ACCC last year regarding Toyota’s misleading statistics regarding reducing greenhouse gas emissions, used by the company in advertisements promoting the vehicle.

Australian investors: out of Burma

The Democracy for Burma Action Group in Perth has launched a new campaign targeting Western Australian oil and gas exploration company, Twinza Ltd.

Twinza Oil Ltd was registered in Australia on October 27 2004 as a vehicle for developing oil and gas exploration in Burma. In November 2006 Twinza Oil signed a deal with the Burmese regime to conduct exploration and development, and now has exploration rights over the offshore Yetagun East Block in the south of Burma.

Oxfam calls for mine watchdog after shooting

27 Mar 08

Shooting of Filipino villager by security guard of Melbourne based miner, OceanaGold, highlights need for independent oversight

Oxfam Australia is calling for an independent inquiry to determine whether the opposition of residents in a remote community in the Philippines is being appropriately responded to by Melbourne based mine operator OceanaGold, which plans to develop a gold and copper mine in the village of Didipio. The move follows reports that a security guard from the mine shot and wounded a villager. 

According to The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the incident took place at around 11am on Easter Saturday 22 March when a demolition team from OceanaGold commenced tearing down the home of a local resident, reportedly asleep in the house at the time. According to the acting provincial police director, a group of local men rushed to the aid of the sleeping man and, in the process, one of the local men, Emilio Pumihic, was shot in the arm by a guard of OceanaGold. 

‘This is a very serious incident,’ said Oxfam Australia’s Mining Ombudsman, Shanta Martin. ‘An independent inquiry is needed to inquire into grievances that have long been raised by opponents to the mine operation and the extent to which OceanaGold’s actions are consistent with the human rights of those that have lived in Didipio for generations,’ Ms Martin said. 

The incident follows a report published last year by Oxfam Australia, following five years of investigation, which found that many villagers in Didipio complained of harassment and intimidation by agents of the Melbourne-based mine operator. Alleged tactics included attempting to pressure people to sell their land at a price determined by OceanaGold and threatening legal proceedings against illiterate farmers – allegations flatly denied by OceanaGold. 

Oxfam Australia called on the Australian mining industry and parliament to establish an independent complaints mechanism to help resolve complaints from communities affected by Australian mining operations overseas and avoid situations such as those that are now occurring in Didipio.

New Corporate Watch Guide: "How to Research a Corporation"

News Archive

Corporate Watch Australia have just released a new guide to researching Ausralian Corporations working here an    d overseas..

To view the guide, please download the file here: 

How to Research a Corporation.pdf (303.78 KB)

HRL - Burning Coal at Three Minutes to Midnight


The Corporate Watch report on HRL Ltd, in conjunction with Friends of the  Earth, 'Burning Coal at Three 
Minutes to Midnight' is now available. The report sheds light on the government grants and
business interests behind the proposed HRL coal fire power plant in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria.

With $150 million of state and federal government grants, this new coal fire power station has

Melbourne-based miner OceanaGold accused of strong arm tactics in Philippines

News Archive

A Melbourne based mine operator has been accused by Filipino villagers of harassment and the use of strong arm tactics to pressure them to accept its plans to develop a large gold and copper mine, according to a new report published today by Oxfam Australia.

Oxfam Australia raised these concerns with the company, most recently in July 2007, and recommended they investigate. But to date the mining company has failed to address community grievances. In the absence of an adequate company response, Oxfam is now making public the findings of its investigation.