I love this stuff: a scruffy local and former uni student here – Jonathan Moylan – sent the shares of one of the massive coal companies plummeting. How? He wrote a fake media release using the ANZ bank’s letterhead, saying that the bank had withdrawn its $1.2 billion loan for a massive new coal mine at Maules Creek in the Leard State Forest, near Narrabri. It sent Whitehaven Coal’s shares plummeting by $300 million. Since then, it’s been front page news, with the ratbag right calling for his head, but also with an interview in the local paper.
Of course, there are laws against this kind of thing, against anything that threatens the profits of big capital. It goes without saying that such laws have nothing to do with the fact that the fat cats make handsome contributions to all the major political parties. (Although it is worth noting that these practices are perfectly acceptable when those same fat cats do it to each other – that’s just ‘business’.) Moylan faces the possibility of a fine of $500,000 or ten years in prison. But he knew what he and the group – Frontline Action on Coal – were in for when they did this and they feel it’s been well worth it. It is part of a much longer campaign, from their base camp in the forest itself.