Corporate conscious – paid for by us

One thing I detest more than pandering politicians is big corporates moralising and putting our money where their corporate mouths are.

Thanks to Australia’s trillion-dollar superannuation funds, the big corporates get to pay themselves excessive fees and commissions and yet hold themselves out as the spokesman for the common Australian struggling to pay their mortgage.

Every Australian with a superfund has an interest and ownership in the large majority of the top ASX listed companies.

Those companies should focus on how they can best serve their shareholders – not how they can lecture them.

It’s recently been revealed that ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, IAG, Wesfarmers, Telstra, Rio Tinto and BHP have donated $2 million each to the Yes23 campaign.

I’d be impressed if their CEOs donated $2 million out of their own hefty annual salary – but for companies reaping billions of dollars of profit from the pain of millions of Australia via interest rate rises and cost of living pressures – the contribution seems a bit hollow.

Wesfarmers chair Michael Chaney pockets $8 million alone.

If he wanted to write a cheque out of his own piggy bank, more the power to him.

But use your own money to make your own political statements – not the money of others and then lecture them about it.

Wesfarmers last week said its board and senior management had endorsed a decision to donate $2m to the Yes campaign but the company wasn’t telling team members how to vote – how generous.

ANZ released a statement of support to enshrine constitutional recognition and the creation of an Indigenous voice to parliament.

They made a profit of $3.8 billion in 2023 – a 22 per cent increase from last year. I am sure mum and dad ANZ mortgage holders who are bleeding to pay their bills would be convinced which way they should vote in the upcoming referendum because the fat cats at ANZ are on board.

Rio Tinto has done its fair share for Indigenous culture, namely putting a bulldozer through rock shelters of exceptional significance at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.

If I was on the Yes23 campaign, I’d send their cheque back.

Telstra has spent the last 10 years sacking Australian workers and employing overseas call centres.

They would be more of a liability than an asset in the battle for winning the hearts and minds.

Don’t get them on a telethon – you’ll be on hold for hours.

But the biggest issue is the fact that these big corporates have decided not to even enter the debate about whether the Voice to Parliament will actually result in better outcomes for at risk and disadvantaged Indigenous communities.

They have preferred to retreat to the hills to waive the virtue signalling flag and send cheques with other people’s money.

I have no problem with those that want to support the Yes23 campaign either in person or by donation.

But use your own time and your own money – not money pilfered from the pockets of others.