THE GOOD AND BAD OF ETHICAL DIVESTMENT
Ballarat City Council must be commended for its recent move to withdraw its funds from banks that finance the fossil fuel sector which is actively feeding climate damage.
As the recent capital asset carnage along the NSW coast illustrates, the cost of failing to act decisively to avert climate-driven disaster will literally dwarf the cost of taking prudent action to address this issue now.
Ethical investment portfolios, that do not finance the fossil fuel sector, are consistent, strong performers and are only likely to grow stronger.
Investing in a stable future by withdrawing our finances from the drivers of climate change is a wise financial move on every possible level.
Eve Lamb, Clunes
In last Friday's Courier, councillor Vicki Coltman expressed bewilderment at the City of Ballarat's motion regarding investments in fossil fuel companies.
The council has moved to withdraw its investments in the big four banks to protest their fossil fuel funding. There is a non-disadvantage clause however, that means any alternative green investment must give a comparable rate of return.
Councillor Coltman rightly spots the loophole that allows the council to avoid any commitment but doesn't acknowledge the reason. Could it be the council are indulging in a show of virtue-signalling in which they flaunt their green credentials without actually doing anything?
This is the sort of posturing at which the Greens excel. With no viable alternative, our civilisation needs fossil fuels like the body needs oxygen.
To think the current suite of renewables of wind, solar and biofuels will tar our streets, smelt our steel, grow our food and transport our goods is delusional. The ratepayers of Ballarat deserve more responsible financial managers.
David Bain, Stockyard Hill
FUNDING MUST FOSTER REGIONAL ARTS
The arts is "the mirror that reflects Australian culture and identity."
Under the Abbott/Turnbull governments, millions of dollars have been cut, essentially hamstringing the ABC, SBS, the Australia Council and Regional Arts. Even the highly prized Deadly Awards recognising cultural and artistic achievements of Indigenous Australians was 'killed off' by termination of funding under the current federal government.
A vote for the ALP in the coming federal election means: 1) Securing the future of the ABC and SBS, and substantial funding specifically for locally-produced drama. 2) Ensuring The Australia Council grants remain accessible to cultural and artistic innovations for individuals, regional and rural theatre, galleries and more. 3) Establishing a fund to enable young artists, performers and musicians to launch their careers. 4) Regional funding for the arts.
In a city like Ballarat, where community-based arts has born and nurtured the talents of performers and musicians like David Hirschfelder, David Hobson; directors like Susan Pilbeam; artists from the Lindsay family to Bill Rowe and beyond; writers from Miles Franklin to the current writers of The Dr Blake Mysteries; only strong funding at the regional level can continue to give talented individuals opportunities to launch their careers at the local level, and not be lost to the bright lights of bigger cities and brighter opportunities overseas.
No community has more to gain than Ballarat, whose history has strongly embraced artistic endeavours since the 1850s to the present, by ensuring a vote for the ALP in both the House of Representatives and Senate on 2nd of July. The arts and arts education through fully funding the Gonski recommendations are key reasons, I, for one will be voting for Labor. To support the Liberal National Coalition is to risk the loss of Australia's art and culture voice and identity way into the future.
Fiona Ludbrook, Wendouree