A Ballina councillor says the big four banks could lose up to $40 million in investments under a new policy adopted at a recent meeting.
The council voted to gradually withdraw its investments from financial institutions aligned with the fossil fuel industry.
Jeff Johnson said conditions regarding a comparable rate of interest and a prudent investment policy should be easy to accommodate.
“There are only certain percentages that can be invested with each individual institution, and they have to have a credit rating and be term deposits,” he said.
“There are about 50 different banks and financial institutions that do not fund new coal and gas projects, so there are plenty of institutions for the council to choose from.”
Cr Johnson said the neighbouring Lismore and Byron Shire councils have already adopted a similar policy.
“There’s quite a growing campaign worldwide, not just in Australia for institutions and local government to put their money where their values are,” he said.
“Given Ballina and the north coast, we’re on a low lying coastal flood plain area, climate change will impact on us.
“The more we can do to encourage the shift away from these coal and gas projects the better off our communities will be in the future.”