Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Enviro activist avoids jail

Reading Time: < 1 minutes

In January of last year, environmental activist Jonathan Moylan distributed a fake media release stating that the ANZ Bank was revoking a loan facility for Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine in the Leard State Forest in northwest NSW.

By Matt Myers, Socialist Party

This successful prank immediately caused a sell-off in Whitehaven’s stock. It was done in conjunction with other protest activities organised by Front Line Action on Coal which Moylan helped to co-found.

As a result of this stunt Moylan was brought to court to face charges of “disseminating false information to the market”. He faced the prospect of 10 years jail and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

In July he pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 months jail however the judge immediately released him on the condition of good behaviour. The judge importantly noted the unusual circumstances of this case in which Moylan did not gain any economic benefit from his actions.

When compared with the ongoing damage that big business is causing to the environment Moylan’s prank pales into insignificance. Clearly protecting the future of the Leard Forest far outweighs any minor damage that was done to profiteers. The fight against the Maules Creek coal mine continues.


The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many of the problems with capitalism. The Socialist strives to explain the systemic causes of this crisis, and reports about the issues that are important to working people. We also help to organise struggles against the powers that be.

We don’t receive a cent from big business or governments. Our work is fully funded by our supporters. Even if half the people who read our website every month donated a few dollars each we would raise thousands to help our work!

We need organisations of struggle now more than ever, so if you support what we do please consider making a donation.

One-off or regular donations can be made securely HERE.