Hugh Morgan (businessman)

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Hugh Matheson Morgan AC, (born 9 September 1940), an Australian businessman, is the son of former Western Mining Corporation CEO Bill Morgan, and was himself CEO of WMC from 1990 to 2003. He was also President of the Business Council of Australia from 2003 to 2005. The Howard Government appointed him to the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1996.[1] He also was the Founding Chairman of Asia Society Australia.

Opposition to action on climate-change[edit]

He is sceptical of global warming, opposed to the Kyoto Protocol [2] and, as a member of the Greenhouse Mafia and president of the Lavoisier Group,[3] was central to a campaign to prevent the Federal Liberal Government from acting to cut emissions[4] (in collaboration with fellow former WMC executive Ray Evans).

Advocacy for nuclear industrial development[edit]

In June 2006, Hugh Morgan formed the company Australian Nuclear Energy with Fairfax chairman Ron Walker and fellow mining executive Robert Champion de Crespigny, planning to build nuclear power plants in Australia.[5] Morgan has a 20% stake in the company.[5] Controversially, prime minister John Howard revealed that he had a discussion with Mr Walker about the company days before he announced an inquiry into nuclear power. The inquiry went on to predict that Australia could potentially have 25 nuclear reactors producing a third of the country's electricity by 2050.[6] In 2015, the company was described as being "in commercial hibernation from which it is unlikely to return."[7]

Morgan once claimed that Native Title threatened Australia's sovereignty, and was an outspoken opponent of Aboriginal Land Rights in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 2000s, Morgan spoke of reconciling mining with Aboriginal welfare and moderated his previously controversial commentary.[8] When conservation agreements were made possible for "nuclear actions" under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Morgan flagged how an internationally owned nuclear waste repository could be built.[9] One such a proposal was announced for Aboriginal land during the Howard government.[10] As of 2017, no such repository has been approved or constructed- though the concept was explored during the 2015-2016 Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in South Australia.

Current appointments[edit]

  • President of the Lavoisier Group
  • Trustee Emeritus The Asia Society, New York
  • Chairman Emeritus of the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre
  • President of the Australian German Association
  • Immediate Past Chairman of the International Council on Metals and the Environment
  • Chairman of BioDiem Limited
  • Member of the Trilateral Commission[11]

Past appointments[edit]

  • Member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia
  • President of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee
  • Chief Executive Officer of WMC Limited since 1990
  • President of the German Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce from 1991-1994
  • Chairman of the World Gold Council from 1989–1991
  • Director of the World Gold Council from 1986–1991
  • Member of the Executive Board of CSIRO from 1978–1983
  • President of the Australian Mining Industry Council (now the Minerals Council of Australia) from 1981–1983
  • Director of Alcoa of Australia from 1977 until 1998. Director of Alcoa Inc since 1998
  • Graduate in Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne



  1. ^ Wade, Matt (2003-03-26). "Generous Liberal donor gets seat on Reserve board". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived October 28, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "The Lavoisier Group: About The Lavoisier Group". Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  4. ^ Hamilton, Clive (2007). Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change. Black Inc. Agenda. ISBN 978-0-9775949-0-0. 
  5. ^ a b George Lekakis (2007-02-27). "Powerbrokers' nuclear dream - Businessmen want to build plant". The Daily Telegraph. 
  6. ^ Murphy, Katherine (2007-04-05). "Morgan reveals vision for nuclear Australia". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  7. ^ Stevens, Matthew (2015-02-09). "Many nuclear options for Hugh Morgan". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 
  8. ^ "Different shades of Hugh". Sydney Morning Herald. 2002-08-17. 
  9. ^ Murphy, Katharine (2007-04-09). "Limited scrutiny on nuclear projects". The Age (Melbourne). p. 3. 
  10. ^ "Aboriginal land to be nuclear waste dump". The Age (Melbourne). 2007-05-27. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  12. ^ It's an Honour: AC
  13. ^ Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): 2007 Autumn Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals, p. 1.

External links[edit]