Sep 11th 2020


Media Comment: GetUp welcomes the news that Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques and two senior executives have stood down from their roles.

GetUp’s First Nations Campaign Director Larissa Baldwin said:

“This is a huge moment - it sends a clear message to mining corporations and executives that you will face consequences for the destruction of Aboriginal heritage and sacred sites.

“For three months Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques got away with tired excuses and a hollow apology after blasting the Juukan Gorge.

“Rio Tinto’s own internal review shows that instead of taking the multiple chances they had to stop the destruction, they lined up their lawyers to deal with the public relations fallout.

“This is an important first step but Rio Tinto needs to commit to a root and branch overhaul of its failed leadership over the protection of Aboriginal heritage.

“It doesn’t end here because right now there are no legal mechanisms that guarantee the protection of culturally and historically significant sites like the caves at Juukan Gorge.

“Until we have strong laws with clear, public principles for Aboriginal heritage protection, no one can have confidence that we won’t see a repeat of this kind of destruction.”