A zombie koala walks into a bank to close her account.
It sounds like a joke but that’s just what happened at the ANZ Queen St mall branch in Brisbane on Sunday.
Seven protesters, dressed as koala corpses, entered the bank to protest against ANZ funding Whitehaven’s coal mine at Maules Creek in the Leard State Forest in northern NSW, saying the project was killing native wildlife.
After two police officers arrived to move the protesters on, activist Kelly Purnell, 26, used her time in the branch to close down her account.
“I’ve been meaning to close that account for a long time and I thought, ‘well I’m in the branch now so I might as well just get it done’,” Ms Purnell said.
Beyond Green spokesman Ben Pennings said there will be more marsupials waddling in to ANZ branches across the country in the coming weeks.
“ANZ have been asked for a long time not to fund the coal mining projects in the Galilee Basin, the port expansion in the reef and so far they haven’t committed not to,” Mr Pennings said.
“So we’re going to continue doing this and we’re going to escalate over time so that people know what ANZ are planning and we’ll force them to stop.
“We have to, the reef is too precious.”
Whitehaven’s Maules Creek project has been the target of countless demonstrations, including last year when former Wallabies captain David Pocock chained himself to mining equipment at the site.
Activist Jonathan Moylan also temporarily wiped hundreds of millions of dollars off Whitehaven’s value after issuing a fake ANZ press release in January 2013 claiming the bank had withdrawn a $1.2 billion loan for the project.
An ANZ spokesman said the bank only provided finance to projects that had the necessary government approvals and met its own stringent environmental conditions.
“We also recognise the need to transition to a lower carbon economy which is why ANZ is a leading financier of renewable projects in Australia,” the spokesman told AAP in a statement.