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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
Pommy bastard 4:27 pm 21 Sep 10

I wonder which companys which “manufacture land mines” the ACT govt has any investment in?

Anyone know?

Anyone?

rosscoact 3:12 pm 21 Sep 10

Cluster bombs don’t kill people, people kill people

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:50 pm 21 Sep 10

Is there a company in the world that does not ‘harm the environment’?

Would you like me to hum the soundtrack to Top Gun to accompany the roar of the point whooshing over your head? What’s your claim, exactly? “The employees of Company A eat food and have a photocopier, so we may as well throw our lot in with Company X, who sells land mines”?

Nick Sundance 2:48 pm 21 Sep 10
harley 2:47 pm 21 Sep 10

Ethical by whose standard? For once, I have to have to agree with a tory – oil and coal make my world enjoyable, I find them ethical. Weapons are OK, too, but only if sold to the good guys. So no investing in French weapons companies.

dtc 1:57 pm 21 Sep 10

Is there a company in the world that does not ‘harm the environment’? Does that include paper use, electricity, forcing employees to drive to work, allowing them to eat food and breath out carbon etc?

And what about manufacturers of, say, military helicopters that are also used for peacekeeping and/or humanitarian activities?

Still, I agree with tobacco companies. No redeeming features there.

Woody Mann-Caruso 1:52 pm 21 Sep 10

It is possible to be professional and take pride in one’s appearance without wearing bucketloads of make-up and a suit.

That’s right. You just roll out of bed in the morning, reeking of stale desperation, then choose something blue off the rack.

Pommy bastard 1:39 pm 21 Sep 10

Jim Jones said :

It is possible to be professional and take pride in one’s appearance without wearing bucketloads of make-up and a suit.

Show off. For some of us it’s not even possible with…

And if the loony toons Greens think that we can make a reasonable return by fencing off any investment in firms which have any “involvement” with anything they dislike (ie everything,) and by only investing in “lentil-flavoured, save-the-lesbian-single-mother-disabled-whale” funds, it just goes to show what a joke these people are.

Vote ’em out!

kincuri 1:29 pm 21 Sep 10

This doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Caroline Le Couteur was once an Exectutive Director of Australian Ethical Investment Limited.

And once, and possibly still is, a major shareholder.

Does it?

Jim Jones 12:47 pm 21 Sep 10

It is possible to be professional and take pride in one’s appearance without wearing bucketloads of make-up and a suit.

PBO 12:12 pm 21 Sep 10

chewy14 said :

weapons manufacture, gambling, tobacco and alcohol, breach international labour laws or harm the environment or animals.

These are a few of my favourite things.

And without these there would be a bunch of naked hippies sitting under a tree, smelling badly with nothing to wear, smoke or drink. And without weapons they would resort to flinging poo at eachother. So if we take away those things, that is what might happen.

Maximise returns ppl!

Thumper 11:36 am 21 Sep 10

good money in cluster bombs and various other incendary devises.

chewy14 11:19 am 21 Sep 10

weapons manufacture, gambling, tobacco and alcohol, breach international labour laws or harm the environment or animals.

These are a few of my favourite things.

colourful sydney rac 11:08 am 21 Sep 10

vg said :

Define ‘involved’ Greens.

On another note, why does every female Greens politician look as if they’ve gone to minimal if in fact any trouble to make themselves look presentable. And before anyone rails against that as sexist, its actually about professionalism and pride in appearance, not personifying a green stereotype

I won’t rail against it as sexist, just a stupid and ill-informed.

vg 11:04 am 21 Sep 10

Define ‘involved’ Greens.

On another note, why does every female Greens politician look as if they’ve gone to minimal if in fact any trouble to make themselves look presentable. And before anyone rails against that as sexist, its actually about professionalism and pride in appearance, not personifying a green stereotype

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