[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.
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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?
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…