Deputy Mayor’s Thumbs Up for Ethical Investment

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Byron Shire Council Deputy Mayor Paul Spooner. Photo: Contrbuted.

Byron Shire Council Deputy Mayor Paul Spooner. Photo: Sarah Ndiaye.

PAUL SPOONER, Deputy Mayor of Byron Shire Council, has congratulated council staff for making Byron Council’s first ethical investment.

Council recently invested one million dollars in the Westpac Climate Bond for renewable energy projects.

Council purchased a five year Floating Rate Note investment for $1,000,000 issued by the Westpac Bank.

This investment is in line with the Council resolution moved by Cr. Spooner that supports Environmental and Socially Responsible Investments.

The investment return on the fund varies but is calculated on movements in the three-month bank bill swap rate plus a fixed margin of 1.17%.

The current return is 3.16% per annum. Westpac is hoping to raise just over $1billion with the proceeds from the investment with funds to be used for renewable energy projects such as wind farms and low carbon commercial buildings in Australia.

The investment is called the Westpac Climate Bond and it has been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Cr. Spooner said, “This is great news for our shire and for our environment.”

With Council holding over 76 million dollars in investments there exists an important opportunity to ensure that this money is put to good environmental and social purposes.

“This investment demonstrates that it’s possible to be a good money manager while caring for the environment.”

“ I want to ensure that Byron Shire Council is a leader in ethical investments with a focus on renewable energy projects. We can do it with our investment funds and we can do it with our community infrastructure. It’s time we put the council budget to work for our community’s good. Renewable energy initiatives on council buildings and through our investment funds will do just that.”

“I will make renewable energy a priority in Byron Shire if I am elected as mayor in the upcoming council election.”

“I want to ensure we don’t just talk about renewable energy but that we actually get projects up and running.”

Cr. Spooner is featured in a recent short film called Council Divestment and is wanting to make ethical investment an issue for councils across the state by having it discussed at an upcoming NSW Local Government conference.

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