A breath of fresh in­spi­ra­tion

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

ABOUT 20 Whit­sun­day lo­cals left the Air­lie Beach Ho­tel on Tues­day night inspired to con­tinue fight­ing for their en­vi­ron­ment and the Great Bar­rier Reef.

They met with Mar­ket Forces lead­ing cam­paigner Julien Vin­cent, who dis­cussed the role the big­gest Aus­tralian banks are play­ing in fi­nanc­ing the ex­pan­sion of Aus­tralia’s fos­sil fuel in­dus­try.

Mr Vin­cent pre­sented his new re­port Fuelling the Fire with find­ings of Mar­ket Forc- es’ re­search into the banks that have loaned to na­tional fos­sil fuel projects and com­pa­nies from 2008–14.

Com­pletely re­laxed yet de­ter­mined, the 34-year-old Mel­bur­nian spoke about how to help stop the fi­nanc­ing of the “dirty in­dus­try”.

Mr Vin­cent didn’t tell peo­ple which bank to sup­port but ex­plained how to switch banks and make it count.

Mr Vin­cent is tour­ing north Queens­land and was hop­ing it would be more of a vic­tory lap.

“I be­lieve we’re one very fine hair away from shut­ting down the Galilee Basin coalmine. It didn’t hap­pen on this trip but I’m con­fi­dent it will,” he said.

Mr Vin­cent said Air­lie Beach was an ac­tive town and it was just a mat­ter of main­tain­ing the mo­men­tum.

“Even if – more like when – the Galilee Basin closes, there’s still mines north, south and east and west of us. Although it’s a tank­ing in­dus­try, it’s not go­ing to stop.

“As an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist you have to be cool with that, tell your­self it’s okay and know you are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence where you can,” he said.

En­vi­ron­ment Coun­cil of Cen­tral Queens­land cam­paign man­ager Tony Fontes, who or­gan­ised the visit, said the talk was en­cour­ag­ing.

Mr Vin­cent said his re­port was solely formed to ben­e­fit com­mu­ni­ties like Air­lie Beach. For more in­for­ma­tion, email julien@ mar­ket­forces.org.au.

JOIN­ING FORCES: Mar­ket­ing Forces cam­paigner Julien Vin­cent talks at the Air­lie Beach Ho­tel. Photo: Char­lotte Lam

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