August 14, 2015

Galilee Coal Kicked to the Curb: CommBank ‘Celebration Week’ Wraps

(SYDNEY)– This week, hundreds of Australians launched celebratory actions at over 30 CommBank branches across the country to congratulate the bank for finally cutting ties with Indian coal mining giant Adani and its dangerous plans to mine coal in the Galilee Basin and expand the Port of Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef.

The announcement followed a concerted community campaign that saw thousands of people put the bank on notice and close their accounts and hundreds of actions at CommBank branches across Australia and around the world.

Many of the CommBank celebration evolved into anti-Galilee Coal parades, with dozens of participants taking their chants and banners to the streets, marching to NAB, ANZ and Westpac branches, calling on the other Big Four banks to follow CommBank’s lead in ruling out involvement with the proposal.

Some highlights from the week’s activities include:

Melbourne: (See pictures here)

Dozens of people staged an ‘End of Coal’ parade in Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday. Marchers participated in colourful and creative actions urging the Banks to reject Adani’s plans and calling upon all of Australia’s Banks to commit to phasing out all fossil fuels in the lead up to the Paris climate negotiations later this year.

Canberra: (See pictures here)

CommBank staff in Canberra were presented with bouquets of flowers to congratulate the bank on making the first step in taking action on climate. Canberrans then unveiled a new ‘Fossil-Free’ vision for the bank and set up a pretend bank teller to launch the COMMunity Bank brand to staff and passers-by.

Sydney: (See pictures here)

Complete with a marching band and ‘CEO Nemo’, on Thursday morning, dozens in Sydney kicked off their parade at the CommBank Headquarters on Sussex Street. Participants took their calls for bold climate action to a NAB branch on Elizabeth Street, and to ANZ and Westpac branches on Market Street in Sydney’s CBD.

Newcastle: (See pictures here)

Residents thanked CommBank staff on their arrival to work and then staged a launch of what fossil-free banking could look like–encouraging the bank to follow through and adopt a policy to phase out all coal, gas and oil investments. They also engaged with bank customers and passers-by, asking people to send online messages to their own banks not to invest in fossil fuels or Galilee Basin coal.

Perth: (See pictures here)

Dozens of local residents staged a ‘Thank-the-Bank’ rally at CommBank in Perth’s CBD on Friday. Participants held homemade signs and banners and eventually took the celebration inside the branch to deliver a large ‘Thank You’ card to CommBank staff.

Brisbane: (See pictures here)

Friday, Brisbanites threw a fossil-free party outside the CommBank branch on Queen Street, and launched a new brand in its honour: The COMMunity Bank-– a bank which invests in renewables and takes bold steps in phasing out all fossil fuels.

sigh