Thursday, 17 January 2013 08:14
The Australian Greens are split over a hoax that temporarily wiped $300 million off the value of Whitehaven Coal.
Greens leader Christine Milne has said the action was part a long and proud history of civil disobedience.
Her colleague Lee Rhiannon congratulated activist Jonathan Moylan, who issued a bogus press release purporting to be from the ANZ Bank and which said the bank had cancelled a $1.2 billion loan facility for Whitehaven's Maules Creek project in northwest NSW.
But another Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said the stunt was not something she would encourage.
When asked whether she supported Moylan's action, she told Sky News on Thursday: "I wouldn't be encouraging people to go willy-nilly and taking this type of action.
"I understand why it was taken, I understand the frustrations but don't encourage others to do it."
Senator Hanson-Young said political action in the past had helped create social change.
"This one obviously has caused a stir."
Another Greens senator, Peter Whish-Wilson, said he would not have taken the protest action.
"And neither would I publicly congratulate an activist for taking that action," he told The Australian Financial Review.
"I have a different view to Senator Rhiannon in that respect."
Senator Whish-Wilson insisted he did not disagree with his leader's comments, but said protests like Mr Moylan's had costs and consequences.
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