In recent weeks Watershed Victoria and supporters have raised the major financial backing of the desal plant in Wonthaggi by Westpac and the National Australia Bank
Both banks have signed on to the "Equator Principles", a comprehensive statement of responsibility to invest only in projects that have no damaging environmental and social consequences.
The National and Westpac Banks espouse their environmental credentials in relation to investment decisions for the money we place in their care. Yet now they are allowing the desalination plant to go ahead, preventing better and cheaper options from an environmental point of view, from going ahead, by backing the desalination plantâ€™s construction.
We would love FoE members to help keep the pressure up, asking for an explanation of the banks' financial involvement and a comprehensive environmental impact study by the banks BEFORE financially backing the energy guzzling desal plant. It's a mistake both in terms of local environmental impact and climate change.
Please ring the NAB Corporate Responsibility Officer on 03-86342734 or Westpac on 132032 and ask for the Corporate Responsibility Officer. More details and form letters are on our website under the "writing letters" section.
Issues you may want to raise:
Â Â Â * shortcomings of environmental assessment study
Â Â Â * the consortium arenâ€™t committing to proper monitoring of marine effects
Â Â Â * so much water we wonâ€™t build the sustainable alternatives
Â Â Â * financial risk to bank
Â Â Â * bad investment
Â Â Â * what could go wrong (soils, substructure of area-mines etc, size of project, water temperature, more ?
Â Â Â * reputation as environmenatlly responsible may be lost
Â Â Â * backlash
Â Â Â * env and social impacts -traffic, housing, green tourism
Â Â Â * long-term damage to bankâ€™s reputation