So if you’re asking Australians not to buy lipstick tested on caged rabbits, rugs woven by Pakistani slaves or suits made with mulesed wool, then pray your boycott calls don’t succeed, for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is about to be given the power to sue you out of the water if they do.
But Costello’s bill is designed to protect businesses of any size – all the way up to BHP Billiton – not by outlawing intimidation, but by punishing persuasion.
Hurt a business simply by arguing that it’s ethically repugnant to buy its products and the commission will be able to step in and sue to recover the company’s lost profits.
No free-speech defence is immediately available. You won’t be able to go to court to plead the pros and cons of open-range chooks or gentler methods than mulesing to save sheep from fly strike.
The new law will catch lone campaigners, community groups, NGOs, lobby groups and even the media – anyone whose campaign for what the law calls a “secondary boycott” actually hits the mark and causes financial pain.
The emphasis in the quote above is mine, and thanks to DD for the link.