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Future Fund tobacco investment should be reviewed: Greens

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 24 Mar 2011

The Australian Greens have expressed disappointment with the Government and Coalition’s reluctance to support a motion calling for a review of the Future Fund’s investment criteria.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Health spokesperson put the motion after it was revealed that the Future Fund holds over $100 million worth of investments in overseas tobacco companies.

“I was amazed by revelations regarding the Future Fund’s investment in Big Tobacco,” said Senator Siewert. “There's no doubt that such an investment is ethically and financially flawed.”

“This investment is contrary to the Government's health policy, and undermines the preventative health campaign underway in Australia.

“The Future Fund, which remains an important investment tool, should be operated in a financially and ethically responsible manner.

“Smoking-related chronic disease places a huge toll on our health system and it is not appropriate for the Future Fund to be investing in the way it is.

“We've seen Big Tobacco actively engaged in campaigns to undermine efforts to reduce the toll of smoking on our community. This includes the advertising blitz during the 2010 Election and their onerous FOI requests to the Department of Health.

“The Federal Government should review and revise investment criteria as a matter of urgency. It is important that the Future Fund is invested into ethical enterprises that are consistent with the health and well-being of the nation, and not into tobacco.

“I'm disappointed that the Senate didn't support my motion calling on Government to review and revise the guidelines,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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