A breath of fresh inspiration
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