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23/4/01....Comment on Treasurer Costello rejection of Shell bid for Woodside

Friends of the Earth Sydney

Media release - 23rd April 2001
Attention Energy writers and Chief's of Staff
Comment on Costello's rejection of Shell's hostile Woodside bid

"Shell's every move across the Planet is haunted by Ken Saro-wiwa's ghost."

"We concur with the Australian Treasurer's decision based on Shell's failure to comply with its own triple bottom line corporate standards. We believe this has been an important subtext to the federal government's decision making reflecting the feeling of a broad cross section of Australians.

"Friends of the Earth have accessed the global network of the environment movement to gather a character profile on Shell both here in Australia and internationally. There is no doubt in our mind that Shell is not a fit and proper corporate citizen to control and/or operate the energy resources of the North West Shelf."

"Author Ken Saro-wiwa's murder in 1995 by Shell's business partners in Nigeria, namely the Nigerian military government, is instructive of Shell's willingness to work with anyone at whatever moral price. Ongoing oil spills, ships of shame and allegations of unsafe work conditions are also alarming."

"The international investment community should see this decision in a business ethics framework as well as good business. To do otherwise would simply add credibility to anti globalisation concerns in all western democracies - valid concerns acknowledged by hard heads like former NSW Auditor General Tony Harris (23 Jan.2001 Australian Financial Review p34). Secondly the Australian dollar should not be seriously affected by this decision to reject as it involved asset and share scrip swaps rather than cold hard foreign currency. Thirdly the recent BHP/Billiton and Brambles/GKN mergers blow potential claims of xenophobia out of the water."

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