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Lay Catholic says Adani coalmine project ‘makes no sense’ in light of Church teaching

Peter Arndt at coalmine protest

Speaking out: Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission executive officer Peter Arndt at the #NoAdani protest outside Brisbane’s main Commonwealth Bank branch.

GRANDPARENTS, mothers of children in strollers and Church advocates were amongst scores of anti-coalmine protesters that forced the front doors to close at Brisbane’s main branch of the Commonwealth Bank on July 27.

The protesters crowded the footpath outside the bank’s Queen Street headquarters, calling for an end to the proposed $16.5 billion Adani mega-coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

“We care passionately about the Great Barrier Reef,” Wynnum mum Lisa Panting, who joined the Brisbane protest with her two children Ruben, 5, and Abbey, 6, said.

“My husband and I met on Hamilton Island and we want our kids to be able to go up there to experience the reef the way we have.

“My main concern is the environment. Global warming – it’s scary.

“We want more put into renewables. So, get rid of this coal – it’s dirty stuff.”

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 everyday 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.”

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