The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the decision made today by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) to refuse Glencore’s Glendell coal mine proposal due to heritage impacts.
This decision comes after many months of deliberation and a thorough process of evidence collection by the IPC, including strong evidence from the Heritage Council of NSW.
Commenting on the NSW IPC refusal, Naomi Hogan, Strategic Project Lead at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Glencore’s proposal to relocate significant cultural heritage at the Ravensworth Estate was inconsistent with its own published social performance policy.
“Investors and the public should be able to rely upon the veracity of publicly-listed companies’ policies, and have confidence that a company’s actions will follow suit.
“This determination is a prime opportunity for Glencore to prove that its stated policy to protect cultural heritage is not simply a PR exercise. The company must now respect the decision of the Independent Planning Commission to protect this significant heritage site.
“The NSW IPC had an especially important responsibility in this case to ensure heritage values were properly considered. The IPC’s decision should go some way to restoring public and investor confidence that the regulatory process for mining in NSW is operating effectively, rather than simply facilitating more coal mining at any cost.
“Glencore must now outline a clear and fair plan for its workers in the Hunter Valley to be in the best possible position to participate in the energy transition that is well underway.
“This decision, along with significant investor concern regarding Glencore’s coal expansion plans, should give the company pause with regard to pursuit of an appeal.”
Glencore’s Social Performance Policy (page 3) states that the company will “appreciate and respect the importance of cultural heritage and seek to avoid, or where avoidance is not possible, minimise impacts on identified places, items or other aspects of historical and cultural significance”.
Glencore’s website states the company’s approach is, “committed to identifying, recording and protecting, in alignment with local regulatory requirements and best practice, cultural heritage and archaeologically sensitive locations on our landholdings.”