April 21, 2016

Castlemaine’s council divests from fossil fuels

Following overwhelming community support, Mount Alexander Shire Council has revised their investment policy to move their investments away from coal, oil and gas.

This divestment decision means they join 19 other local government associations, including the City of Melbourne and the City of Newcastle in actively avoiding investing with financial institutions that fund fossil fuel companies, such as the big four banks.

“The moral and financial arguments are stacking up against investing in fossil fuel companies and I am pleased to see the Mount Alexander Shire Council make this sensible decision,” local 350.Org Castlemaine coordinator, Dean Bridgfoot said.

“It seems as though every year we break more temperature records. Here in Castlemaine we’ve just experienced one of the hottest summers ever and we simply can’t continue to invest in the coal, oil and gas companies that are driving this.”

“I am not comfortable with my rates being invested in projects that are damaging the future of the planet. Not only that, as evidenced by a number of coal mining companies recently going under, fossil fuel investments are becoming increasingly risky.”

“Mount Alexander Shire Council has committed to regularly report on its divestments. We will be looking to see that the council follows through on its commitment and after a review, increases its capacity to divest beyond the current 60 per cent of its funds.”

“As we head towards a federal election, it’s time our elected representatives in Canberra took their lead from the work of local governments across Australia who are getting on with the job of tackling climate change,” 350.org Australia divestment campaigner, Isaac Astill, said.

In committing to divest, the Mount Alexander Shire Council joins over 500 institutions worldwide, representing US$3.4 trillion. They include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Universities of Monash, Oxford and Stanford.

Media contact:
Dean Bridgfoot, 0403 160 091, dean.macr@gmail.com

You can see Mount Alexander Shire Council’s full divestment motion here.