Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2700 ..
MS HORODNY (11.32): Mr Speaker, recent events in Nigeria have certainly shocked the world. The execution of any person is the ultimate abuse of human rights, but the execution of nine people precisely because of their human rights and ecological activism has brought the swift condemnation of the world community. I will be seeking to amend this motion by adding three paragraphs condemning the Nigerian Government for not adopting standards as laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when dealing with all political activists, including those currently awaiting trial. I now move:
After paragraph (3) add the following paragraphs:
"(4) calls on the Government to urgently write to the Federal Minister for Administrative Services to consider the actions of Shell in Nigeria when renegotiating the DAS Fleet card contracts;
(5) calls on the Minister for Urban Services to make available alternative fuelling arrangements for all ACT Fleet card holders and drivers; and
(6) calls on the ACT Government to write to the Federal Government asking them to urge the Nigerian Government to adopt standards as laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when dealing with all future political activists.".
The amendment condemns the Nigerian Government for not adopting the standards laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when dealing with all political activists, including those currently awaiting trial. My amendment also calls on this Government to write urgently to the Commonwealth Minister for Administrative Services, Frank Walker, asking him to consider the actions of Shell in Nigeria when negotiating the DASFleet card contracts.
Shell stands out for its willingness to persist in its development of energy projects in Nigeria in spite of the action taken by the Commonwealth at CHOGM. Some years ago the Uniting Church in Australia called on its members to boycott Shell products because of the company's support of the apartheid system in South Africa. The response from the company, while it did not change its business practices, showed that it was sensitive to community protest and action. This Government, as well as the Federal Government, has the opportunity at the moment with the DASFleet card renewal process to exert pressure on Shell in relation to Nigeria. The Guardian Weekly of 3 December reported:
Shell's failure to deal with the consequences of its decisions in Ogoniland is one example of a widespread abdication of responsibility of big corporations. Multinationals are insisting that they take not only an absolutely neutral line on the politics of the countries in which they invest and trade, but they must work with local standards of ethics and morality. This opportunistic relativism is spreading rapidly ... The behaviour of Shell in Nigeria right up to its announcement almost immediately after the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa -