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Greens moving to legislate ethical investment

By johnboy - 22 September 2010 34

[First filed: Sep 21, 2010 @ 10:42]

The Greens’ Meredith Hunter has announced that she’s bringing in legislation to force the ACT Government to clean up its dirty investments portfolio:

“The ACT Government’s investment portfolio currently includes big tobacco, gaming, companies that test cosmetics on animals and arms manufacturers.

“I don’t think the community believes that it is ok for us to be profiting from activities like the manufacture of land mines or cluster bombs.

The Greens proposed legislation essentially does two things:

– Screen out companies which are involved in activities such as weapons manufacture, gambling, tobacco and alcohol, breach international labour laws or harm the environment or animals.
– Promote investment in positive environmental and social outcomes.

So do you want maximum returns? Or investment with an ethical purpose?

ACT Government investments

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UPDATE: In an unusually swift response the Liberals’ Brendan Smyth has accused the Greens of casting an overly wide net:

“The Greens want to halt investment in any company that manufactures or sells liquor. Not only does that hit our wine making industry, and our breweries, but it would also include Coles, Woolworths and almost all our local supermarket players– an attack on basic services,” Mr Smyth said.

“They want to ban investment in any company using genetically modified crops – an attack on our agriculture sector.

“They want to ban investment in coal and oil – an attack an important segment of the Australian economy.

“It’s not just the industries, it’s the consumers. Everyone who has a glass of wine, who puts petrol in their car, or uses electricity, by extension, is considered unethical.

“This ‘blanket ban’ approach sets the Greens up as the sole arbiter of what is and isn’t an ‘ethical’ industry – even when they are important, hard working industries in vital areas of the economy. How can we support local industries, local business and the local community when the Greens are attacking almost every sector?

“It is extraordinary that the Greens would want to ban investment in gambling yet they sit by and watch their coalition partners take millions from problems gamblers to fund their election campaigns.

No word yet from Labor.

FURTHER UPDATE: In a well researched, but perhaps poorly judged piece of shark jumping, Brendan has followed up with the businesses that rent space from one of Ms Hunter’s investments:

Under Ms Hunter’s disclosure of her registrable interests Ms Hunter has declared she has Macquarie Office Trust shares. Within their last annual report, it reported that they owned many buildings, with large corporate clients.

Those tenants, that create income for Meredith Hunter, included:

Caltex (Allianz Centre, 2 Market Street, Sydney)
Allianz (Allianz Centre, 2 Market Street, Sydney)
Parsons Brinckerhoff (engineer and infrastructure design management for Kogan Creek Coal Power Station)– 59 Goulburn St, Sydney
Unico (a 20 year association with TABCorp) – 5 Queens Road, Melbourne
Japanese Food & Liqour Alliance – Morita, Tokyo

And he was doing so well…

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Greens moving to legislate ethical investment
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welkin31 7:49 am 23 Sep 10

Sepi #25 said “One in five Canberrans voted green at the recent election.”
You are quoting the Federal election figures – but our Assembly reps that are making this news were voted in at the 2008 ACT election.
Where the Greens got 15.6% of the vote – but garnered 23.5% of the seats.
http://www.abc.net.au/elections/act/2008/
So the system was very kind to them – as is media coverage.

bush goddess 7:17 am 23 Sep 10

The old dualism arguments are alive and well, aren’t they? The demarcation between those who proclaim pragmatism [invest in anything as long as you get your ROI – Return on Investment] or those who believe that aspiring for something different, even if it can’t be achieved, is the way to go.

GOOD NEWS…..there are OTHER outcomes –

Having been interested in the use of superannuation [and other investment funds] for specific ethical purposes for many years…and putting my money where my mouth really is – the groups known to invest in renewable energy, community projects, socially inclined investments and environmentally focused activities have, over the past seven years, returned some of the highest outcomes of ALL super funds.

For those who love to rant against any different-to-my-own ideas, step off your own dung-heaps for a wander into new territory and I reckon you may be surprised at what you find when you look in different places…..hard to know what is real when you don’t go there.

bd84 10:33 pm 22 Sep 10

The Greens can explain to the CSS and PSS members who have worked for the ACT Government over the past 20 odd years why the Government won’t be able to fund their superannuation over the next 20 to 30 years. The Government’s current investments already have almost the lowest risk possible which means they have very low returns. The Greens forcing some “ethical” investment strategy onto the portfolio will likely reduce returns further. I guess it doesn’t matter in the long term for the Greens, they get paid out when they get kicked out of the Assembly after their short 4 year term.

Pommy bastard 1:49 pm 22 Sep 10

Jim Jones said :

Dude – you’re always banging on about how much you hate the Greens because ‘they’re hippies, reiki, dolphins, crystals … blah blah blah’: a bunch of outdated cliches that have nothing at all to do with the Greens as a political party or their policies (or supporters). It’s so far off the mark that nobody even bothers to bite.
quote]

I have never once here or anywhere else said I hate the greens Jim, I find them highly amusing.

Now look again at how my views, and I believe I’m entitled to my views and to express them here, are distorted and twisted out of all recognition. Look at the way my name has been dragged into discussions I have not even posted in.

Then get back to me about “characterising people” and “looking at what they are actually about”.

K?

🙂

Ps. Some people take this place w-a-a-a-y too seriously.

Erg0 1:03 pm 22 Sep 10

Unfortunately, the Greens don’t seem to have twigged to the difference between ethics and ideology.

Jim Jones 12:38 pm 22 Sep 10

Clown Killer said :

One in five Canberrans voted green at the recent election

which would be fine, if the damage the Greens do could be limited to just 20% of the Canberra community.

Oh yeah, they’ve just ravaged Canberra haven’t they. The place used to be a veritable Utopia until the evil greens introduced mandatory euthanasia and forced all the children to take part in gay marriages.

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:19 pm 22 Sep 10

sensible, public discussion about lining up its public policy and investment principles.

FFS – can’t you see we’re busy being pathetic, sexist pigs and revelling in a tired and predictable ‘hurf durf green hippies’ session? Just leave us to be tiny, insecure little white men and take your ‘sensible discussion’ someplace else.

PS – climate change is a religion so there. Clever, aren’t I? Didn’t see that coming, did you? And I bet those Green harpies have hairy legs and pits. Probably lesbians – not the hot, approval-worthy kind, either.

*snort oink*

Clown Killer 12:18 pm 22 Sep 10

One in five Canberrans voted green at the recent election

which would be fine, if the damage the Greens do could be limited to just 20% of the Canberra community.

Jim Jones 12:15 pm 22 Sep 10

Pommy bastard said :

They are Greens “Solidarity”, they are a religion to most middle class hippies, for whom traditional belief systems are too untrendy.

Like any cult or religion their beliefs overide the need for explaination, or sense even, and again like religions, they feel it it their duty to impose their belief sytems on others.

Vote ’em out.

Dude – you’re always banging on about how much you hate the Greens because ‘they’re hippies, reiki, dolphins, crystals … blah blah blah’: a bunch of outdated cliches that have nothing at all to do with the Greens as a political party or their policies (or supporters). It’s so far off the mark that nobody even bothers to bite.

You might as well characterise the Liberal party as cigar-smoking aristocratic fatcats dressed in tuxedos who are beholden to the interests 19th century industrialists, or the Labor party as communists who want to sell us out to the CCCP.

In the last election, the Greens snagged about 13% of the popular vote. Maybe you should have a look at who they are and what they stand for, and why people support them, rather than dismissing over a tenth of the Australian population as ‘middle-class hippies’.

sepi 12:01 pm 22 Sep 10

One in five Canberrans voted green at the recent election.

i would rather have ethical super than support cluster bombs, but I too would take alcohol out of the list. (probably less than 1 in 5 canberrans over 18 who don’t drinnk alcohol.)

pajs 11:51 am 22 Sep 10

It is possible to set up an ethical investment ‘screen’ or preference and make good returns. I used to invest with Australian Ethical Investment until sucked into the mortgage pit and consistently brought in high returns.

Personally, I don’t agree with including companies producing alcohol in an ethical negative-screen, but don’t mind at all the idea of the ACT Govt having a sensible, public discussion about lining up its public policy and investment principles.

And before people mount their own ignorance some more, you may want to have a look at how your own superannuation and other managed investment providers already include ethical or socially responsible investment principles in their operations. It’s pretty common these days, and is compatible with excellent returns.

And some evidence? Lots out there, but 2009 data from Australia’s annual benchmarking of responsible investment: “the average responsible investor in Australia is getting better returns for almost all periods from one to seven years across the three major investment categories in which RI products are available”

I can’t seem to past the key table into here, but you can find it via googling Responsible Investment 2009 (research conducted by Corporate Monitor).

PM 11:44 am 22 Sep 10

Didn’t the Greens once accept money from the CFMEU, an organisation which makes money from pokies in the Tradies Club?

motleychick 11:32 am 22 Sep 10

Pommy bastard said :

Vote ’em out.

+1

Pommy bastard 11:09 am 22 Sep 10

They are Greens “Solidarity”, they are a religion to most middle class hippies, for whom traditional belief systems are too untrendy.

Like any cult or religion their beliefs overide the need for explaination, or sense even, and again like religions, they feel it it their duty to impose their belief sytems on others.

Vote ’em out.

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