Hunter Asylum Seeker Advocacy organised a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the tragic sinking of SIEV-X 21 years ago. Niko Leka reports.
Newcastle City Council
Newcastle is a major centre for coal exports. When Newcastle City Council flirts with any hint of fossil fuel divestment, expect controversy. On August 25, the council approved a policy giving preference to “environmentally and socially responsible investments”. This was supported by Labor and Greens councillors, and opposed by Liberal and independent councillors.
The Labor-dominated Newcastle council has defied pressure from unions and senior ALP figures to rescind moves to investigate moving a $270 million investment portfolio away from banks that fund ‘‘socially and environmentally’’ harmful projects and industry. Labor’s Cr Declan Clausen, who moved the original motion, said it was not against the coal industry or coal jobs, but a symbolic move in support of ‘‘different jobs for the future’’ and a shift to renewables and a clean energy industry.
Newcastle City Council voted on August 26 to join the global push to divest from fossil fuel. This follows the ACT’s announcement that it would become the first Australian government to divest from fossil fuels and aim to have 100% renewable energy by 2025. With a total investment portfolio of $280 million, Newcastle council has also told Australia’s big four banks they need to divest portfolios of assets that include coal and oil.