Telstra’s corporate activism

An ominous global trend is the rise of corporate activism. Big business is now adding their economic weight and global reach to a range of politically correct issues. This emerging trend threatens to undermine our representative democracy and the national interest. 

For a few days last week, Telstra appeared to respond to both common sense and the interests of its shareholders when it backed away from campaigning on same-sex marriage following an exchange with the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.  This quickly changed after Telstra was intimidated by the attacks of online trolls. Telstra cowardly gave in to these bullies, changing their position once again to support something that in no way benefits their shareholders.

Legislation may be needed to ensure publically listed companies seek written authorisation from a majority of their shareholders, before they can give support to a social activism campaign. This would do three things: Firstly, it would give cover to businesses that feel coerced into supporting a particular cause. Secondly, it would better protect the interests of shareholders from an activist CEO or Board. Thirdly, it would help to protect our freedoms and the national interest by limiting the influence big business has on political decision making.

Family First is the only party in federal parliament that has held a consistent position on maintaining marriage. The proposed plebiscite on marriage is an opportunity for everyday Australians to have their say, not for big corporations to push the agendas of the Gay lobby.

We can’t let noisy internet trolls or large corporations decide our nation’s future.

Rod McGarvie, Senate Candidate Family First Queensland