Jonathan Moylan, the activist that issued a hoax press release from ANZ saying the bank had withdrawn a $1.2 billion loan for Whitehaven coal’s Maules Creek mine – temporarily wiping $314 million off the company’s share price – was today handed a suspended sentence for one year and eight months, and a $1000 surety. Supported by scores of farmers and environmentalists outside court, Moylan was fortunate to receive a good behaviour bond, avoiding a ten-year prison sentence and $765,000 fine. By risking his freedom, however, he kick started a national discussion on the threat reckless coal expansion poses to farmers, rural communities, the environment and Australia’s economy. He has also helped shine a bright light on the dirty investment practices of many Australian banks, and the increasingly risky nature of investing in the dying coal industry.
- MT @julesallover: Moylan gets 20mths suspnded sentence. Maules Creek to drive #climatechange for 30yrs & destroy Leard forest #standwithjono
- Join: RED ALERT: Join the Leard forest blockade (Front Line Action on Coal)
- Support: We Stand With Jonathan Moylan (Facebook Community)
- Support: Stand with Jonathan Moylan
- Sign: Put your bank on notice (Market Forces)
- Storify to share: Protesters show their support for Jonathan Moylan
- Blog to share: The growth of divestment (Market Forces)
- Act: Divest your money away from coal (Front Line Action on Coal)
- Share: The end of coal (First Dog On The Moon / The Guardian)
- Hash tags in use: #StandWithJono #LeardBlockade #coal
- The court’s decision to release Jonathan with a suspended sentence and small fine vindicates his actions to expose reckless coal mine expansion, and the dirty investments enabling it. Jonathan Moylan stood up in the public interest, took responsibility for his actions, and was relentlessly attacked by the coal industry and pursued by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for it.
- Despite its heavy toll on the local environment, global climate, and local communities, Australia’s coal industry enjoys vast state and federal government subsidies and other political support. The fact it is 80 per cent foreign owned makes such support even more perplexing, especially when the end of coal is near and continued support for it risks Australia missing out on the next major economic revolution.
- The coal industry and banks that lend to it have far more to worry about than activist emails, as it is becoming increasingly clear that coal’s future is one of terminal decline. Moylan’s hoax email drove a drop in Whitehaven Coal’s (WHC) share price from $3.52 to $3.21, and it bounced back to $3.53 within an hour when trading resumed. However, since January 2013, Whitehaven’s share price has plummeted in the face of the slumping global coal price, closing at $1.45 recently. Investors are abandoning coal projects, renewable energy is basically unstoppable, and as the world inevitably increases climate action the future will only grow bleaker for coal.
- ANZ hoaxer Jonathan Moylan avoids jail over fake press release (ABC)
- Activist Jonathan Moylan avoids prison over mining hoax (The Australian)
- Environmentalist to be sentenced over hoax email (ABC)
- Jonathan Moylan to be sentenced for Whitehaven Coal hoax email (The Guardian)
- Will Whitehaven Coal hoaxer Jonathan Moylan go to jail? (Crikey)
Tools and resources
- PR: Jonathan Moylan to be sentenced in Supreme Court today, faces 10yrs for hoax press release (Standwithjono.org)
- Timeline: Maules Creek Campaign (Mining Australia)
- Report: Full Submission Leard Forrest coal offsets (North West Ecological Services)
- Report: Summary Report in to the Whitehaven Offsets (North West Ecological Services)
- Overview: Big Banks funding fossil projects (Market Forces)
Images and video
- Video: The Facts: Jonathan Moylan, ASIC and Whitehaven (Standwithjono.org)
- Video: We Stand With Jonathan Moylan (Standwithjono.org)
- Images: Jonathan Moylan (Flickr / Standwithjono), Solidarity vigil gallery (Flickr / Greg McNevin), Farmer Rick Laird (Flickr / Greg McNevin), Maules Creek from the Air (David Ritter)
- “To most people ANZ is just a bank, but to our community at Maules Creek their loan to Whitehaven Coal threatens to put an end to 150 years of farming in the region. We’ve been fighting this mine for years but what Jono did means the world knows what is happening to Maules Creek farms and the Leard State Forest. Jono stood with us, so we’re here to stand with Jono.” Maules Creek farmer Rick Laird.
- “Jonathan is a principled young man. He does not deserve to go to jail or face a heavy fine. His courageous actions have been of great significance to the growing movement for climate action and helped the campaign against coal mining.” Australian Greens senator Lee Rhiannon.
- “The role of ASIC in particular is something that is very concerning to everybody. When it comes to this young man standing up for the public interest, he is aggressively pursued and it really does demonstrate how lopsided the system is. Where the corporate criminals tend to get let off but those who are acting in the public interest not to enrich or support themselves feel the full force of ASIC and the law and it’s simply unjust.” Greens MP Jamie Parker.
Related Tree Alerts
- Abbott Government rollin’ coal with carbon tax repeal
- Landowners and environmentalists step up fight against “underhanded” coal industry
- Community coal and CSG blockades escalate at Leard and Pilliga forests
- Communities fight coal expansion as mining industry shows it has a face for radio
- Renewables digging large potholes in coal’s rocky road
- Coal industry escapes fight with government, but not communities
- RT @alison_m_martin: Moylan sentenced to 1year & 8 months but will be immediately released; Davies J: “you did it for motives sincerely held” #standwithjono
- MT @DavidParis: So that’s Moylan’s sentence, any word on the sentence for ppl profiting from the planet-killing industry he was protesting?
- RT @margokingston1: Davies J: satisfied Jono didn’t intend fall in Whitehaven price & believed hoax would be uncovered quckly #standwithjono
- RT @StandWithJono: This is what ANZ bank is funding when it loans money to Whitehaven Coal. #standwithjono http://t.co/31zNPFw20x
- MT @LucyManne: We #standwithjono and thank him for having the courage to stand up for our land, our water, our future http://t.co/udXwy28oeA
- MT @jarren: I #StandWithJono & his courageous action to expose @ANZ_AU funding the dirty #MaulesCreek #coal mine http://t.co/GtYfImToS7