In 1997, Merrill Lynch executive Peter Whish-Wilson stood at the window of his office in the South Tower of New York's World Trade Center and decided to give up his career in banking. When four years later a Boeing 767 flew into the tower, Whish-Wilson was back in Australia planning his life as a vintner in northern Tasmania.
The return to his roots coincided with a proposal by Gunns Ltd to build one of the world's largest paper mills in the Tamar Valley, a project that threatened not only the Whish-Wilson vineyard but the viability of agribusiness in one of the nation's most fertile regions. It made an activist of the ex-banker. After playing a prominent role in the successful public campaign to halt the mill, Whish-Wilson replaced Bob Brown as Tasmania's second federal Greens senator in June 2012, alongside party leader Christine Milne. The decision to endorse Whish-Wilson over other contenders was taken as a signal that the party was serious about rural issues and engaging with business.