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

Greyhound reform recommendations to be adopted

Race 8, winner was No 3, Nangar Thunder at the Grafton Greyhound track on Saturday, 21st January, 2017.

All but one of the 122 recommendations of the panel to be adopted

Five artists we want to see at Splendour 2017

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Is it too much to ask? What do you think?

Local Partners

Five artists we want to see at Splendour 2017

It's a good thing that three out of five music acts in our wish list are Australian, so maybe we are not asking for too much?

Splendour tickets on sale this weekend for locals

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Are you in the area allowed to purchase them?

The Lyrical, beyond the 'F' word

Roots, Hip-Hop and Reggae artist Karl Smith, also known as The Lyrical.

Hiphop artist brings his latest music to the area

Paul Capsis to reopen Brunswick Picture House

Cabaret performer Paul Capsis will perform at Lismore City Hall on December 29.

Cabaret star brings back his latest solo show

Married at First Sight's controversial groom laying low

MAFS’ Anthony chooses to stay with wife Nadia at their vow renewal.

Anthony in hiding after backlash over his MAFS appearance

Seven, Nine’s crazy cyclone battle

Ruth Western ain't got time for Cyclone Debbie.

Reporters are battling fierce winds, and locals who won’t play ball.

MAFS bride shops around new love story

Nadia Stamp has put a price tag on her new man.

Nadia is shopping her $4000 new man ... and it’s not Anthony.

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

Northern Rivers homes are hot property

SCENIC: Byron Bay was one of the suburbs that recorded a median house sale price in excess of $1 million.

Low stock levels and high demand keeps market buoyant.

Plenty of properties to thumb through in tomorrow's paper

Find your dream home in our property guide in tomorrow's Weekend Star.

Grab a cuppa, get the Weekend Star and check out the property pages

Five Northern Rivers homes under $250k

These Northern Rivers properties are under $250,000.

To quell the depressing news of Byron Bay's 'average' $1m homes

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!