ShareholdingsGiftsTravel and hospitality

The links between politicians and dirty energy

One in four parliamentarians or their immediate family have declared shareholdings in or gifts and travel or hospitality from companies that are among the nation's 100 largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters, an examination of the interest registers reveals.

Sean Johnson10 March 2022

Photo Chris LeBoutillier

Key facts

  • Total emissions: 296 million tonnes
  • Shareholdings: 134
  • Travel or hospitality: 58
  • Gifts: 42
  • Donations: $2.2 million since 2019

Fifty eight elected representatives have connections to companies that the parliament needs to regulate if Australia is to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and achieve substantial emissions reductions by 2030.

On a party basis, 31 (53.5%) are from Coalition parties, 25 (43%) are from Labor, and 2 (3.5%) are independents.

The connections are heavily concentrated with the very biggest emitters: 22 of 58 representatives have declared that they or their spouse/partner and dependent children have at some point this parliamentary term had interests in half of the top 10 emitters, which collectively belched out more direct (Scope 1) emissions in 2020-21 (150.1 million tonnes of C02-e) than the next 90 emitters combined (146.5 million tonnes).

As bad as these figures are, they probably understate the true number of politicians with links to emitters as the interest registers only require the disclosure of gifts, and travel or hospitality where the value exceeds $300.

Of course, having a financial or beneficial link to a large emitter does not automatically create a conflict of interest with a parliamentarian's public duties. Indeed several MPs and senators with direct or family shareholdings are advocates for meaningful action on climate change.

However the scale of the connections - at least 25% of the parliament - and the practice of emitters trying to influence politicians with gifts, travel and hospitality raises a perception of conflict of interest and weakens public confidence in Australia's democratic system.

Open Politics is progressively publishing information below on MPs and senators who have declared interests in the 100 largest emitters, along with the donations these companies have made to the major parties this parliamentary term.

On Tuesday we brought you information on companies ranked between 51 to 100 on the Clean Energy Regulator's 2020-21 emissions league table, and yesterday we added companies ranked between 11 - 50. Today we finish with the top 10.

Corporate emissions 2020-21

 Organisation name Rank Scope 1 Emissions Pecuniary interests Donations
AGL 1 40.2 million tonnes Shareholdings x 2, Travel/hospitality x 1 Nil
Origin Energy 4 14.9 million tonnes Shareholdings x 4 $4290
8 9.6 million tonnes Travel/hospitality x 2 $166,000
Woodside 9 9.1 million tonnes Shareholdings x 9 $565,000
Santos 10 7.5 million tonnes Travel/hospitality x 6, Shareholdings x 2,
Other income x 1
Rio Tinto 11 7.4 million tonnes Shareholdings x 6, Gifts x 2 Nil
Bluescope 13 6.5 million tonnes Shareholdings x 2 $197,600
INPEX 15 6.4 million tonnes Gifts x 1, Travel/hospitality x 1 Nil
South32 17 6.2 million tonnes Shareholdings x 11 Nil
BHP Group 22 3.7 million tonnes Shareholdings x 22 Nil
Qantas 26 2.5 million tonnes Shareholdings x 5, Gifts x 27, Travel/hospitality x 27 Nil
Fortescue 31 2.1 million tonnes Shareholdings x 3, Travel/hospitality x 1 Nil
Shell 35 1.7 million tonnes Travel/hospitality x 1 Nil
Incitec 37 1.5 million tonnes Shareholdings x 2 Nil
Orica 41 1.4 million tonnes Shareholdings x 3 Nil
Boral 42 1.3 million tonnes Shareholdings x 5 Nil
Wesfarmers 53 864,813 tonnes Shareholdings x 11, Gifts x 1 $449,350
Cleanaway 54 860,338 tonnes Shareholdings x 1 Nil
Suez 55 857,118 tonnes Shareholdings x 1 $55,900
Virgin Australia 57 845,653 tonnes Travel/hospitality x 17 Nil
Whitehaven Coal 58 815,706 tonnes Shareholdings x 2 $15,500
Northern Star 68 604,804 tonnes Shareholdings x 2 $105,500
Hancock Prospecting 69 588,884 tonnes Gifts x 1 $37,000
Newcrest 70 564,316 tonnes Shareholdings x 2 Nil
Ampol 71 551,804 tonnes Gifts x 3, Shareholdings x 1 $133,850
Aurizon 75 513,726 tonnes Shareholdings x 3 Nil
Toll 78 449,657 tonnes Travel/hospitality x 1 Nil
Beach Energy 84 405,005 tonnes Shareholdings x 2, Gifts x 1 Nil
Woolworths 88 363,232 tonnes Shareholdings x 12, Gifts 1 $29,490
Iluka Resources 89 349,047 tonnes Shareholdings x 2 Nil
Mineral Resources 93 296,341 tonnes Shareholdings x 3, Travel/hospitality x 1 $232,400
CSR 95 280,065 tonnes Shareholdings x 2 Nil
Coles 97 271,472 tonnes Shareholdings x 9 Nil

Sources: Clean Energy Regulator's 2020-21 emissions data | Open Politics interests database | AEC donations register

Tony Burke11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerAGL
Julie Owens04/05/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerAGL
David Van16/06/202012. Travel or hospitalitySelfHospitality - CEDA lunch (Feb 2020), guest of AGL

Nick Champion11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfOrigin
Ken Wyatt11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerOrigin
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20
Paul Scarr25/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfOrigin Energy Limited

Patrick Gorman12/10/202112. Travel or hospitalitySelfFlight from Perth to Barrow Island and return on 5 October 2021 to enable a site visit of Barrow Island and the Gorgon gas project provided by Chevron Australia.
Madeleine King13/10/202112. Travel or hospitalitySelfOctober 5: Return flight from Perth to Barrow Island provided by Chevron Australia, for a stakeholder visit to Gorgon gas project. Value unknown.

Helen Haines18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWPL - Woodside Petroleum Limited↳ Deleted from register 4/02/22
Julian Hill11/04/20191. ShareholdingsDependent childrenHeld in trust for my daughter in my capacity as Executor and Trustee of my mother's Estate: Alumuina, CBA; Iluka; Woodside Petroleum
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfWOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED↳ Deleted from register 19/03/20
Ken O'Dowd11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoodside Petroleum Ltd - WPL
Graham Perrett11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoodside Petroleum Ltd - WPL
Michelle Rowland11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoodside ↳ Disposal of shares 18/07/19. Deleted from register 29/07/19
Ben Small09/12/20201. ShareholdingsSelfWoodside
Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoodside
Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWoodside

Simon Birmingham04/12/201912. Travel or hospitalitySelfTwo tickets and hospitality to the U2 concert at Adelaide Oval on 19 November as a guest of Santos Limited
Mark Butler11/04/201910. Other IncomeSpouse/partnerSalary income from employment with Santos Ltd↳ Deleted from register 21/02/20
Mark Butler11/04/201914. Other interestsSpouse/partnerMy partner is employed as Manager - Media and Communications by Santos Ltd↳ Deleted from register 21/02/20
Keith Pitt26/08/202112. Travel or hospitalitySelfSponsored travel - flight Canberra to Darwin via Adelaide from Santos Limited
Rowan Ramsey02/02/202112. Travel or hospitalitySelfHospitality at D’Arenberg Winery celebrating Adelaide Festival of Cycling x 2, Saturday 23rd January 2021. Courtesy SANTOS
Anne Ruston30/07/201912. Travel or hospitalitySelfInvitation to Stage 2 Santos Tour Down Under and hospitality for the day from Santos for Senator Ruston on Wednesday 22 January 2014
Anne Ruston28/01/202112. Travel or hospitalitySelfAttended the Australia v India cricket match held at Adelaide Oval hosted by Santos Limited on Friday 18 December 2020.
Anne Ruston30/07/201912. Travel or hospitalitySpouse/partnerInvitation to Stage 2 Santos Tour Down Under and hospitality for the day from Santos for Senator Ruston's husband Richard Fewster on Wednesday 22 January 2015
Paul Scarr25/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfSantos Limited
James Stevens05/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfSantos Limited↳ Deleted from register 27/01/22

Andrew Bragg29/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfRio Tinto (sold on 8 July 2019)
Ted O'Brien11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfRio Tinto Ltd
Amanda Rishworth11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerRio Tinto
Paul Scarr25/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfRio Tinto Limited
Warren Snowdon12/11/202011. GiftsSelf1 pair of safety boots provided by Rio Tinto for Pilbara site visit
Warren Snowdon12/11/202011. GiftsSelfSafety glasses provided by Rio Tinto for Pilbara site visit
Tim Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfRio Tinto via Wilson-Bolger Superannuation Pty Ltd↳ Sold. Deleted from register 14/12/20
Tim Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerRio Tinto via Wilson-Bolger Superannuation Pty Ltd↳ Sold. Deleted from register 14/12/20

Dave Sharma18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBluescope Steel (BSL)↳ Sold. Deleted from register 26/08/20
Dave Sharma18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBluescope Steel (BSL)

Jason Clare11/04/201911. GiftsSelfINPEX - 1 x Glass cube with vile of condensate, approx. value $16 received on Thursday 4th April 2019.
Joel Fitzgibbon12/11/202012. Travel or hospitalitySelfOn Wednesday 4 November I participated in a tour via boat of Ichthys LNG facility. This tour was provided by INPEX.

Claire Chandler29/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfSouth32
Libby Coker18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerSouth32 Ltd
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfSouth32
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerSouth32
Helen Haines18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerS32 - South32↳ Sold. Deleted from register 18/11/21
David Littleproud11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfSouth32
David Littleproud11/04/20191. ShareholdingsDependent childrenSouth32
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfSOUTH32 LIMITED↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20
Julie Owens04/05/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerSouth32 - S32
Dean Smith29/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfSOUTH32 LTD↳ Sold. Deleted from register 9/08/21
Ken Wyatt18/02/20221. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerSouth32

Bridget Archer18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Nick Champion11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP↳ Sold. Deleted from register 3/09/20
Claire Chandler29/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP
Libby Coker18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Perin Davey19/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP↳ Sold. Deleted from register 7/03/22
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Helen Haines18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Barnaby Joyce11/04/20191. ShareholdingsDependent childrenBHP
David Littleproud11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP
David Littleproud11/04/20191. ShareholdingsDependent childrenBHP
Susan McDonald30/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfBHP↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20
Julie Owens04/05/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Rex Patrick29/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP
Rowan Ramsey11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP - joint holding with spouse
Rowan Ramsey11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP - joint holding with spouse
James Stevens05/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfBHP↳ Sold. Deleted from register 27/01/22
Kate Thwaites18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Rick Wilson05/08/20211. ShareholdingsSelfBHP - Purchased by Avon Trust
Ken Wyatt11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBHP
Tony Zappia11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBHP

Claire Chandler29/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfQantas Airways
Dave Sharma27/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfPurchase of shares in family trust — Qantas (QAN)
James Stevens05/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfQantas Airways Limited↳ Sold. Deleted from register 27/01/22
Anne Webster18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerQantas
Josh Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerQantas

Patrick Gorman11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerAccess to the Fortescue Metals Group Employee Share Program.
Matt Keogh12/07/201912. Travel or hospitalitySelfAir and land transport to Sod Turning of Eliwana Mine near Tom Price, WA on 5 July 2019 from Fortescue Metals Group. Value unknown.
Ted O'Brien11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfFortescue Metals Grp Ltd (Inadvertently omitted from the 45th Parliament register)
Rex Patrick14/02/20221. ShareholdingsSelfFortescue Metals Group Ltd

Angus Taylor08/10/201912. Travel or hospitalitySelf2 x complimentary tickets to the Parliamentary Press Gallery Mid Winter Ball from Shell Australia

Helen Haines18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerIPL - Incitec Pivot Limited
Amanda Rishworth11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerIncitec Pivot

Libby Coker18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerOrica Ltd
Helen Haines18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerORI - Orica Ltd↳ Sold. Deleted from register 4/02/22
Paul Scarr25/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfOrica Limited

Libby Coker18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBoral Ltd
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfBORAL LIMITED↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20
Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfBoral Ltd↳ Shares sold by Avondale Trust. Deleted from register 4/02/21
Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBoral Ltd
Ken Wyatt11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBoral Limited

Libby Coker18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWesfarmers Ltd
Damian Drum11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWesfarmers
Trevor Evans16/12/201911. GiftsSelfKittey Malarvie indigenous ceramic mug from Wesfarmers Arts Commission
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWESFARMERS
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWESFARMERS
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfWESFARMERS LIMITED↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20
Graham Perrett11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWesfarmers - WES
Amanda Rishworth11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWesfarmers
Michelle Rowland11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWesfarmers ↳ Disposal of shares 18/07/19. Deleted from register 29/07/19
Paul Scarr25/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWesfarmers Limited
Dave Sharma18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWesfarmers Limited (WES)
Dave Sharma18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWesfarmers Limited (WES)

Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfCLEANAWAY WASTE MANAGEMENT LTD↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20

Catherine King11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerGDF Suez Shares

Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWhitehaven Coal
Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWhitehaven Coal

David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfNORTHERN STAR RESOURCES
David Gillespie27/01/20201. ShareholdingsSelfAcquire Shares in Northern Star Resources Ltd (NST) in rights issue by D&C Gillespie Super
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerNORTHERN STAR RESOURCES

Matthew Canavan21/04/202011. GiftsSelfHancock Agriculture provided a meat pack valued at $228 which was dontated to St Brendans College for their ''Eddies Van'' - a weekly service providing meals to vulnerable people

Bridget Archer18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerNewcrest Mining
Ted O'Brien11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfNewcrest Mining (Inadvertently omitted from the 45th Parliament register)

Mike Freelander09/08/20211. ShareholdingsSelfPurchase of shares in the following companies through super fund: Afterpay; Telstra; AMPOL; Brickworks
Helen Haines12/10/202111. GiftsSelfNotebook and pen; gift from Ampol Limited
James McGrath31/05/202111. GiftsSelfNote book and Pen from Ampol Australia Value $50
Angus Taylor29/07/202111. GiftsSelf1 x NSW State of Origin rugby jersey from Ampol

Ted O'Brien11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfAurizon Holdings Ltd
Josh Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerAurizon Holdings
Rick Wilson04/02/20218. Saving or investment accountsSelfAurizon - purchased by Avondale SMSF

Glenn Sterle04/12/201912. Travel or hospitalitySelfAccommodation and Hospitality supplied by the Toll Group on the Tasmanian Achiever II cargo vessel Melbourne to Burnie 20/11/19

Bridget Archer18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBeach Energy
Sarah Henderson08/04/202011. GiftsSelfProvision of BOSIET (Basic offshore safety induction and emergency training) course by Beach Energy Limited.
Ged Kearney28/05/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerBeach Energy Ltd ↳ Sold. Deleted from register 5/08/20

David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWOOLWORTHS
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWOOLWORTHS
Helen Haines18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWOW - Woolworths Group Ltd
David Littleproud11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths ↳ Interest not held since 21/02/2019. Deleted from register 11/12/19
Sam McMahon16/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths Group Limited
Brian Mitchell11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths Group (WOW)
Ted O'Brien11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths Group Ltd
Julie Owens04/05/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWoolworths Group - WOW
Alicia Payne18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths Ltd
James Stevens05/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths Group Limited↳ Sold. Deleted from register 27/01/22
Kate Thwaites18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerWoolworths
Tony Zappia11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfWoolworths

Julian Hill11/04/20191. ShareholdingsDependent childrenHeld in trust for my daughter in my capacity as Executor and Trustee of my mother's Estate: Alumuina, CBA; Iluka; Woodside Petroleum
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfILUKA RESOURCES LIMITED↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20

Ged Kearney15/12/20201. ShareholdingsSelfMineral Resources Ltd
Ged Kearney15/12/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerMineral Resources Ltd
Matt Keogh12/07/201912. Travel or hospitalitySelfBox tickets to State of Origin game 2 in Perth on 23 June 2019 with Mineral Resources. Value unknown.
Andrew McLachlan03/03/20201. ShareholdingsSelfMINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED↳ Sold. Deleted from register 19/03/20

Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfCSR Ltd
Rick Wilson11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerCSR Ltd

David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSelfCOLES
David Gillespie11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerCOLES
Barnaby Joyce11/04/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerColes Group
Ged Kearney15/12/20201. ShareholdingsSelfColes Group Ltd
Ged Kearney15/12/20201. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerColes Group Ltd
Paul Scarr25/07/20191. ShareholdingsSelfColes Group Limited
Dave Sharma18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSelfColes Group (COL)
Dave Sharma18/05/20191. ShareholdingsSpouse/partnerColes Group (COL)
Anne Webster05/03/20211. ShareholdingsSelfColes share purchased in March 2021 (500 Shares)

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