I saw this Koala in the forest that the ANZ-financed Whitehaven will be ripping up for a massive coal mine.
Remember Barbara from Bank World in the ANZ advertising campaign? Barbara dismisses customer complaints with “not my problem” “not my department” and “whatever”.
Well, ANZ has created a big problem for our much-loved friend the koala.
ANZ is providing finance of $1.2 billion to Whitehaven Coal, a company in which Nathan Tinkler has a major stake. The finance will enable Whitehaven to destroy koala homes for a massive open-cut coal mine in Leard State Forest at Maules Creek near Narrabri. If the mine goes ahead 2,800 football fields of precious forest will be destroyed, including endangered woodland and homes to 26 plant and animal species threatened with extinction.
Thousands of tonnes of dangerous coal dust will shroud local farms and communities. The Environmental Impact Statement for the mine says that greenhouse gas emissions from the mining, transport of the coal and end usage of the coal is expected to be 30,028,092 tonnes per annum for the intended 30 year life of the mine. The Planning and Assessment Commission “acknowledges that the mining and downstream use of the coal would generate greenhouse gas emissions that will contribute to climate change”. No kidding!
I visited the bushland in Leard State Forest set to be razed to make way for the coal mine and I saw one of the koalas that could soon be homeless. It was sleeping contentedly, oblivious to the destruction that is coming its way. With ANZ finance this threatened species is about to become even more threatened.
So, will ANZ “do a Barbara” and tell us that the massive environmental consequences of their investment are “not their problem”?
With Nathan Tinkler’s financial woes filling the newspapers in recent weeks, this last minute injection of finance from ANZ is crucial to his project going ahead. ANZ has made this pending environmental catastrophe their problem.
Please ask ANZ to pull out of the financial arrangement with Whitehaven Coal so that the koalas and other threatened species and wildlife in the forest can keep their homes. And if you’re a customer of ANZ, make sure you tell them.
Use this form to easily send ANZ an email. Or even better, take a moment longer to send your own hard copy letter using the suggested points below.
Write to ANZ:
Chief Executive Officer
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
833 Collins Street
Docklands VIC 3008
Points you might like to make in your letter:
• The Maules Creek coal mine does not comply with the Equator Principles for Financial Institutions in relation to cumulative assessment, biodiversity conservation, health, occupational safety, cultural heritage, land conservation and the promotion of renewable energy.
• The mine will destroy nearly 2000 ha of forest and woodland habitat for threatened species including 544ha of the critically endangered Box Gum Woodland.
• The ecologist hired by the company to examine the impacts of the mine states that “The Project has the potential to have a substantial impact on the ecology of the area” and they express concern for threatened species of bird and bats dependent on tree hollows.
• This is the single biggest remnant of intact woodland in the Liverpool Plains area and one of the largest and most intact stands of Box Gum Woodland remaining. It is a vital wildlife refuge in a heavily modified landscape.
• The dust the coal mine will generate will present a health risk to local communities and the carbon emissions the mine will generate will present a climate risk to the planet.
• The ANZ website states that “Companies not responsive to climate change are unlikely to be profitable in the long term and our business reputation can suffer if we support clients who do not manage their environmental impact responsibly”. Let them know that you do not consider Whitehaven Coal to be an environmentally friendly nor climate responsible company.
• If you are an ANZ customer you may wish to let them know that you will take your business elsewhere.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke can also stop the mine – write him a letter here.