News

ANU sells shares in Metgasco

A GROUP of students was claiming victory on Tuesday after the Australian National University confirmed it had offloaded its remaining shares in gas mining company Metgasco.

Vice-Chancellor Ian Young informed ANU Environment Collective spokesman Tom Swann of the sale via email on Tuesday morning.

"I am informed by the ANU Investment Office that the university has now divested itself of all shares in Metgasco," Mr Young's email read.

APN Newsdesk sent a series of questions to ANU on Tuesday seeking confirmation of the divestment and answers to a number of other questions, including when the shares were sold and for how much.

The university's reply read: "ANU has previously indicated that it would divest itself of its shareholding in Metgasco in a measured manner. ANU has now sold down the balance of its holding in Metgasco and no longer has a financial exposure to the company. We will be making no further comment."

Mr Swann said the EC campaign to have ANU sell its shares in Metgasco began two years ago after the group was contacted by activists in areas where Metgasco was mining.

He welcomed ANU's decision to sell its remaining shares and had no doubt the EC campaign was a significant factor.

"I think it's unfortunate that the vice-chancellor has tried to pretend that the student pressure has had no part in it," Mr Swann said.

"Clearly, it's a student campaign that brought it to the attention of the media and the ANU community and clearly that's what convinced them to agree to divest and they ought to own that decision and recognise that the community doesn't think that the risks associated with this industry are appropriate for the ANU to be profiting from."

The university announced in October 2011 it would begin divesting its 4.21 million shares in Metgasco, which at the time had a share price of 48 cents.

Last month, with Metgasco's share price at 17 cents, the university told APN Newsdesk it still held 2.5 million shares.

An ANU spokeswoman said at the time the university would divest itself of its shareholding in Metgasco "in a measured manner as purchasers become available".

Just last week Metgasco's price slumped to 10 cents as investors rushed to dump shares as in the wake of the New South Wales Government's decision to impose tighter controls on coal seam gas mining.

Shares in Metgasco, which has several projects in northern NSW, were 10 cents when the market closed on Tuesday.

Mr Swann said the EC was broadening its campaign to pressure ANU to make all of its investments "fossil free".

He recently lodged a Freedom of Information request with ANU seeking details about the university's financial interest in companies which "generate revenue from oil, coal, gas ... or uranium". ANU sought an extension earlier this month owing to the "complexity" of the request.

"We welcome the Vice-Chancellor's leadership on this issue, and hope it will set a precedent, at ANU and around Australia," he said.

"The VC's experience with Metgasco shows fossil fuels are a bad investment - environmentally damaging and financially irresponsible.

"This year we've decided that it's really important to broaden the focus to fossil fuels in general. The same thing that happened with Metgasco is going to happen with all fossil fuel investments around the world in the coming decade and we think it's really important the ANU shows some moral leadership on this and gets ahead of the curve."

Topics:  australian national university metgasco



Tents for homeless: Making the most of Splendour's aftermath

Punters urged to donate their clean gear to Social Futures to help the homeless.

'Absolute wasteland', scoured for goods

Bandmate of 83 years, 'Squizzy', mourned by Salvos

MUSICAL LEGACY: Harold Taylor, pictured with the loves of his life, his wife Pearl and his coronet.

Local cornet musician has 83 year legacy with Salvation Army

Regional emergency services leaders speak up about inquiry

Emergency services agencies are under the microscope.

More than 170 submissions to parliamentary inquiry received

Local Partners

Jonathan LaPaglia takes you inside Australian Survivor s2

Strategy plays key role as castaways seek to make savvy moves and alliances.

Bachelor Recap: Matty’s stunning public rejection

Chic.

Last night we saw humiliation at its best

NZ anchor drops F-bomb live on air

Veteran news anchor Eric Young has been caught uttering an expletive.

Veteran NZ newsreader swears on live television

Jump on a shuttle for a great day out

SKY'S THE LIMIT: Rotorwing Helicopter Services is one of many local and interstate businesses that will be featured at the Lismore Aviation Expo. Rotorwing will have static displays as well as offering joy flights.

The what, where and when of the Lismore Aviation expo

The Block's family home rescue mission

Scott Cam hosts the TV series The Block.

Reno show's new concept proves its biggest challenge to date.

Angelina Jolie 4.0: Is anyone buying this?

Angelina Jolie, master media manipulator, is back.

Love The Bachelor and a feminist? Sorry, you can't be both

These 22 women trying to win Matty's heart... but at what cost? (Pic: Channel 10)

Tans will be sprayed. Roses will be distributed. Tears will be shed.

Hearty food for cold nights

Boneless lamb shoulder roast with crushed kipflers.

RECIPES: Two tasty lamb dishes to try this winter

How one man made more than $20m in a land deal

Varsity Lakes

Sale, with GST added, shows as a $26.4 million transaction

5 ways to avoid 'tenants from hell'

Finding a good, reliable tenant can be a tedious task.

After some helpful ways to avoid terrible tenants? Read on

Tenant: Let me rent, I'll fix your property and pay for it

Noosaville tenant Tony Conyers thought his tenancy was guaranteed until 2035, so he spent his own money on the property. Now he's been told he may not be able to stay for even one more year.

Renter spent $30k on maintaining, improving property over 17 years