March 14, 2016

Polling shows Brisbane residents support divestment plans

Find ALP Lord Mayor candidate Rod Harding’s divestment media release here.

Recent polling shows that Brisbane residents overwhelmingly support ALP Lord Mayor candidate Rod Harding’s pledge to move the council’s funds away from coal and gas.

The poll conducted by EMC for Australia showed that 62% of Brisbane residents support moving the city’s $554 million in funds away from fossil fuel investments.

“I pay my rates, and the last thing I want is for them to be poured down the sink by investing them in declining industries like coal. Speaking as a mother I also believe our governments have a responsiblity to move to cleaner, less polluting investment options,” Sarah Ridout, who has spearheaded a campaign with Brisbane to divest the council’s money, said.

“Divestment is a win-win that will protect both our climate and our council’s investments. The writing’s on the wall, coal and gas are bad investments.”

Brisbane’s investments are currently with the big four banks, primarily the Commonwealth Bank. CommBank was identified as one of the biggest lenders to the fossil fuel industry, including financing coal ports along the coast of the Great Barrier Reef.

If elected, Harding has committed to putting in place policies that would see the council’s $554 million of term deposits redirected to ‘fossil free’ banks that deliver the same or better return on investment as banks that invest in coal and gas.

“By not investing Council term deposits in fossil fuels, Council will play its part in encouraging the important transition to renewable energy. Thousands of future jobs will be generated by the renewable sector and job creation is vital to the future of this city,” said Mr Harding.

Brisbane City Council is the biggest council in Australia, with a population larger than Tasmania, the ACT, and the Northern Territory combined. Brisbane would join over 500 institutions representing US$3.4 trillion that have ensured their money is not invested in fossil fuels.

These include Allianz Insurance and Bendigo Bank, the cities of Paris and San Francisco, the London School of Economics and the University of California. In Australia, there are 15 local governments with A$5.5 billion invested that have taken similar moves, including Newcastle, the Australian Capital Territory, and Melbourne.

Media contact:
Cambell Klose 0490 436 948
Moira Williams 0450 944 114