Wednesday, 9 September 2015
Newcastle City Council Investment Policies
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Newcastle City Council recently passed an update to its investment policies that notes the Council's preference for environmentally and socially responsible investment, and notes reports that this policy will see the Council shift its investments away from coal and fossil fuels,
(ii) the decision has been heavily criticised by the Minister for Industry and Science (Mr Macfarlane), despite warnings from scientists that Australia must act to stave off catastrophic climate change, and
(iii) an opinion poll conducted after the Council's decision found that only one in four Newcastle residents think investing in coal is financially safe; and
(b) congratulates the Newcastle City Council on updating its investment policy and joining councils across New South Wales, such as Lake Macquarie City Council, Willoughby Council, the City of Sydney, Marrickville Council, Leichhardt Council and Lismore City Council, in adopting policies regarding environmentally and socially responsible investment.
The decision by the Labor members of the Newcastle City Council is extraordinarily irresponsible, short-sighted and indulgent. Coal is the basis of the entire Newcastle and Hunter Valley economy as well as the source of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in export earnings for Australia. It should be noted that the decision by the Newcastle City Council was led by the Labor members on council, which begs the question of where the federal Labor Party stands on this issue. Will they publicly condemn a decision made by their own members that will jeopardise the jobs of the thousands of workers of the Hunter Valley and the wider Newcastle area or will they, by their silence, support the Greens' economy-destroying and jobs-destroying policies?