September 8, 2015

Newcastle City Council Upholds Vote to Divest from Fossil Fuels

(SYDNEY)– Renewed community support has led the Newcastle City Council to uphold its vote to divest its $269 million portfolio away from fossil fuels in exchange for environmentally and economically responsible investments.

Since news of the divestment vote spread two weeks ago it has drawn fire from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his coal industry allies, spurring Liberal Councillors to call for a rescission vote despite almost twice as many Novocastrians supporting divestment compared to those who oppose it.

“If the home of the world’s largest coal port can divest from fossil fuels and stand up to the bullying of the Federal Government, and still vote to support its divestment decision then councils and institutions all over Australia should feel heartened that they can do the same. Fossil fuel divestment is the wave of the future. You can join it now or risk being left behind,” said Emma Giles, longtime Newcastle resident and a grassroots campaigner with Australia.

“Since Newcastle’s decision to divest, we’ve seen the Liberal Party and the coal industry draw a line in the sand to oppose clean and environmentally sound investments. Local residents have responded to this Federal overreach by sending over 1,200 messages to Newcastle Councillors in support of divestment.”

“This should be a lesson to all of our politicians- our communities are sick of being chained to fossil fuels and are demanding leadership that opens a path to secure and sustainable jobs and investments,” concluded Giles.

Contact: Krista Collard, 0424 712 034,