Greens congratulate Whitehaven prankster

Greens leader Christine Milne and NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon have offered support to the activist who released a fake statement that triggered a temporary collapse in Whitehaven Coal stocks.

According to Fairfax Media Milne said the hoax, drawn up by Frontline Action on Coal spokesperson Jonthan Moylan, was ''part of a long and proud history of civil disobedience, potentially breaking the law, to highlight something wrong''.

''Companies that are driving climate change will increasingly come under scrutiny and be exposed for their investments and actions, and Jonathan Moylan is drawing attention to these companies,” she said.

“As with asbestos and tobacco, coal is going to come under increasing pressure.”

Milne's comments followed a tweet by NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, who offered congratulations to  Moylan for pulling off the prank.

“Congrats to Jonathan Moylan, Frontline Action on Coal, for exposing ANZ investment in coal mines,” she said.

Earlier this week the Australian Securities and Investment Commission said it would investigate whether Moylan had breached the Corporations Act by releasing false or misleading statements.

The maximum sentence for individuals guilty of a breach is 10 years in jail with fines up to $495,000. Organisations guilty of the same offence can face fines up to $4.6 million.

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