Wonthaggi Climate Rally and March – Stop the banks funding coal! by Jessica Harrison

 Forty local people rallied and marched through Wonthaggi on Tuesday 20th June, calling for the banks to stop funding fossil fuels.

The rally was led by students from Newhaven College, Bass Coast College and the Village School, who spoke out at each branch about the uncertain future we face if fossil fuels are mined and burnt, continuing to pollute our heating planet.

Joseph Thompson, Newhaven College student, said “The big 4 banks cannot continue allowing the expansion of the destructive fossil fuel industry. This is a direct attack on our future as young people, and so we are rising and rebelling, and we will come back, again and again, week after week, to demand an end to these climate crimes.

We will continue to advocate for climate justice, until we are taken seriously by these big corporations like NAB and Whitehaven.”

The rally began at NAB. Whitehaven Coal, a Queensland-based coal company, needs a loan of $4.4 Billion to expand their coal operations. National campaign “Move Beyond Coal” is calling for NAB to stop any loans to Whitehaven Coal. An announcement about whether the loan is approved is expected any day.

Indigo Aurora, a student at Newhaven College, said “It’s so uplifting to fight for such a crucial movement with so many passionate people from all walks of life. People have been fighting for the climate for decades, and we’re not going to stop now.”

The march continued around the streets of Wonthaggi, to ANZ and Westpac banks, with songs and chants echoing through the wintry streets.

After the rally, a number of local people made clear to the protesters that they plan to change their bank accounts to an ethical alternative.