Wednesday, 6 February 2013
That the Senate—
(i) the disruption to stock market trading caused by a media release which falsely purported to announce the withdrawal of a $1.2 billion loan facility to Whitehaven Coal by the ANZ Bank,
(ii) the impersonation of an ANZ Bank officer designed to further this hoax,
(iii) the tendency of such deceptions to undermine confidence in Australia's stock market,
(iv) various endorsements of these deceptions, and
(v) that such endorsements are inconsistent with concepts of economic responsibility, participatory democracy, efforts to enforce standards of media reporting and the rule of law; and
(b) rejects attempts to justify these deceptions with the notion of virtuous malfeasance.
We have a long and proud history in Australia of non-violent direct action and it usually happens when communities fail to have their concerns assessed fairly or when environmental compliance under state and federal laws is not upheld. Senator Abetz and the National Party have never listened to the community impacted by Whitehaven Coal's proposed Maules Creek Mine and they still aren't.
Senator Abetz refuses to recognise the serious discrepancies between Whitehaven Coal's claims about compliance and evidence that they are providing false and misleading information to obtain an approval under federal law. The Greens do not encourage people or companies to break the law and we believe neither are above the law. We believe the law should be applied with equal vigour when considering the actions of Jonathon Moylan and Whitehaven Coal. It is for that reason we urge Minister Burke to uphold the EPBC Act and this motion fails to take all this into context and we will be opposing it.
I thank the Senate. What we have just heard from the Leader of the Australian Greens indicates that they do believe that the end justifies the means, that they are willing to give succour and support to those who have engaged in a hoax that saw millions of dollars wiped off the shareholding. There is an old saying that 'two wrongs do not make a right' and just because you see an injustice it does not justify the committing of another injustice and a potential illegality. Just at a time when we thought, courtesy of the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, that the Greens were starting to become economically responsible, we have the Australian Greens in effect endorsing this. Can I compliment—very rare I do this—Senator Hanson-Young and Senator Whish-Wilson of the Australian Greens, who have indicated their nonsupport for the hoax.
Question agreed to.