Down with CSG: Protesters march on ANZ bank in Mur'bah
UPDATED Wednesday, 4.55pm: A spokeswoman for the ANZ bank said: "ANZ supports the move towards a lower carbon economy, recognising this will take time and will require significant investment in new sources of energy.
ANZ has a balanced lending portfolio for the energy sector that includes renewables, gas and coal.
Any customer that we support must meet all State and Federal approvals. In addition, our clients must meet our own social and environmental standards."
UPDATED, Tuesday 1.49pm: A peaceful group of 30 protesters gathered outside Murwillumbah's ANZ Bank on Tuesday to draw attention to what they say is the bank's collusion with the CSG industry.
To the occasional response of "why don't you get a job" from passers-by, the protesters sought to educate the public about the bank's role in loaning money to "dangerous" coal and gas developments.
Yasir Assam, a Murwillumbah software developer, said he had recently cancelled his insurance with the ANZ bank after learning it had loaned $2.347 billion to fund coal ports and gas processing developments.
He had also closed his Commonwealth Bank account.
"All four banks are involved but ANZ is the worst," Mr Assam said.
Protest organiser Michael McNamara, from Lock the Gate Tweed, said they had talked with the local ANZ bank's operations manager before launching the action on the footpath outside.
"They had no trouble with us being there," Mr McNamara said.
"They recognise that this is a democratic country."
He said they would be targeting the other three big banks later in the year.
Comment is being sought from the ANZ bank.
INITIAL report, Monday 3.05pm: Anti-CSG protesters are planning to gather outside Murwillumbah's ANZ Bank branch on Tuesday to try and force the institution to stop loaning money to the CSG industry.
Michael McNamara from Lock The Gate Tweed said they would be informing the bank's customers and the community about the $2.3 billion ANZ has leant to companies developing coal ports and CSG processing plants along the Queensland Coast.
"What the ANZ and other banks fail to realise is that the money they are using to support these dirty, invasive and destructive industries does not belong to them - they are holding it in trust for their customers," Mr McNamara said.
"These customers are ordinary people in communities just like ours right across Australia.
"We want to make sure that Tweed residents are aware that their funds are being used to support these activities and give them a chance to make their views known to their bank."
The protesters plan to be outside the Murwillumbah St bank from 9-11am.