Church advocates were among scores of anti-coalmine protesters that forced the front doors to close at Brisbane’s main branch of the Commonwealth Bank last week, The Catholic Leader reports.
The protesters crowded the footpath outside the bank’s Queen Street headquarters on July 27, calling for an end to the proposed $16.5 billion Adani mega-coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
For months, protesters have kept up pressure on Australia’s big banks over the issue. National Australia Bank and Westpac have joined 19 of the world’s biggest banks to rule out funding Adani. Protesters want the Commonwealth Bank to do the same.
Joining the bank protest, Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission executive officer Peter Arndt said Queenslanders from all walks of life were rallying to stop Adani.
“The scientific evidence is we need to keep coal in the ground and we need to turn to renewable sources of energy,” Mr Arndt said.
“We are certainly listening to what Pope Francis said in Laudato Si’ when he said that we need to look at phasing out fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
“So we are backing what the Pope is saying and applying it to the situation here.
“This coalmine makes no sense whatsoever. It’s predicted it will double Australia’s carbon emission contribution and that’s just crazy and irresponsible.”
Mr Arndt said he understood mining and jobs in Queensland were contentious issues for many Catholics, but he said it was important for him to stand his ground.
“It’s the clear teaching of the Church as lay people to be witnesses of justice and peace in the political sphere,” he said. “And our bishops have given us the lead in doing exactly that in all sorts of issues.”
Lay Catholic says Adani coalmine project ‘makes no sense’ in light of Church teaching (The Catholic Leader)