Hancock Prospecting, a mining magnate, will provide support for athletes at the upcoming Winter Olympics and Summer Olympic Games
Hancock Prospecting, Gina Rinehart’s sponsor, has been announced for the Australian Olympic Team up to 2026.
The Queensland Conservation Council demanded that John Coates, the president of the Australian Olympic Committee, resign. The council previously wrote to the International Olympic Committee expressing concerns about games that are associated with companies that contribute “to avoidable CO2 emissions such as fossil fuel extract”.
Friday morning’s announcement by the AOC stated that the partnership will include the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Paris 2024 Summer Olympics as well as the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics which will be held in February 2026.
The mining giant will “support” Australian teams to the Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon 2024, in Dakar 2026 and the Pacific Games 2023.
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Rinehart is quoted as saying that her company was proud to support Australian athletes. She also stated that she believed that “success in life and business” depends on the ability to work, concentrate, and be disciplined.
She said, “We are thrilled to take the next steps in our long-term support for Australia’s top athletes and become an officially Australian Olympic Committee partner. An organisation admirably independent from Government funding and aligned with our values at The Hancock Group, we are delighted to do so.”
“We are proud to support our Olympians, who are such inspirations through their hard work. Most people don’t realize how hard they work, dedication and focus, as they strive to represent their country to its best.
“I believe these traits are essential for all of us if we want to be successful in business and life.”
Rinehart stated that she believes there is a need to examine how taxpayer money is allocated.
She stated that she believes government and sponsor funds should be used to ensure the sport is in the best interests of the athletes and the community. Additionally, more scrutiny of taxpayers would help with this.
Rhydian Cowley, a dual Olympian, accused the deal’s demise of “the AOC’s sustainability plan”.
Director of Queensland Conservation Council Dave Copeman stated that he was furious at the decision. He also questioned the viability of future Olympics for all Australians, given the promotion of the interests of “small groups of donors”.
Copeman stated, “This is a catastrophe.” It’s a selfish goal. It is clear that everything can be sold.
“It’s not clear how much a few big cheques to Swimming Australia or the AOC will buy you out of a past of environmental destruction.
“How in the world did they do that?” They must be thinking of something.
Copeman called for Coates’ resignation, stating that the body had either not done their due diligence or did it and decided it was worth it.
He also raised concerns about the “overtly politically” nature of the joint announcement. Rinehart commented: “As Australia seeks to host an Olympic Games within 10 years, it will important for our country be open to investment, and reduce the regulatory burden that affects development needed to make Queensland shine, and the Games a successful.” Copeman called the comments “outrageous.”
A spokesperson for AOC stated that Mr. Coates had no plans to resign before the term ends and that the organization was a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework (SCA) and the Sports Environment Alliance.
The AOC stated that there was no conflict between the sponsorship and AOC’s commitment. “We set goals for ourselves as an organization to achieve climate neutrality.
“We are committed towards embracing sustainability in all aspects of our day-today operations, measuring progress and advocating for member sports.”
Rinehart is a big fan of the Olympics in Australia and contributes $10m each year.
Coates said that he was “greatly pleased” with the partnership and that it would bring “significant benefits” for the Australian teams.
“This is a significant commitment to Australian sport. We thank Gina Rinehart, Hancock Prospecting and Hancock Prospecting very much for their investment. The timing of this investment is perfect on the day we are leaving our Team for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
It is not a coincidence that many of our athletes in Tokyo received the strong support from Mrs Gina Rinehart. Our rowers enjoyed many great moments and achieved success in the pool. The same was true for our beach volleyball players.”
Coates said, “The AOC proudly stands apart from the government. Our day-to-day operations are not funded by federal funds. We do not receive or seek federal funding. We are grateful for the support of Mrs Gina Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting, as well as all our partners, to preserve that independence.
This comes just days after Rinehart was made an Officer of Australia for his “distinguished service to Australia’s mining sector, the community through philanthropic efforts, and to sport in the role of a patron”.
Hancock Prospecting applied for the construction of the second-largest coalmine, in Queensland, next to the Adani coalmine located in the Galilee Basin.
Lang Hancock founded the company in 1982. He called for the forced sterilization of Aboriginal people.
Rinehart was previously criticized for his warning against “propaganda about climate change” in education.
Last year, she spoke out to say that she once helped convince students about climate change. She did this by organizing a talk at a school hosted by climate sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton. She encouraged students to do their own research on “which comes first: global warming or an increase carbon”.
She is also a strong financial supporter of climate sceptic organizations and individuals. Court documents from 2018 revealed that the mining billionaire had given $4.5 million to the Institute of Public Affairs between 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the organisation published a climate review paper that claimed global warming was natural. Experts rejected this claim as “flawed” or “junk science“.
Hancock Prospecting was contacted for comment