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Greens slam Future Fund over big tobacco

Greens slam Future Fund over big tobacco

10:07am February 13, 2013


The Australian Greens have again raised concerns about the Future Fund investing in tobacco companies.

The government-owned fund, run by an independent board, has investments of $221 million in 15 tobacco companies, a Senate Estimates hearing was told on Tuesday.

It last purchased tobacco stock in May 2012 in the Czech Republic division of Philip Morris.

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt said it was “outrageous” taxpayers’ money was being used this way.

“Public money should not be invested in tobacco companies,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Labor backbencher Graham Perrett said he was personally uncomfortable with the fund buying tobacco stock.

“Personally I would love every Australian investment to be a moral investment,” he said.

“That would happen in a perfect world, unfortunately when it comes to return on capital the world ain’t perfect.”

It was important the fund made decisions at arms-length from politicians, the MP said.

“We don’t get Graham Perrett making investment decisions, heaven help us if we did,” he said.

The Future Fund in November announced its governance committee was reviewing tobacco sector investments.

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