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Australian state involvement in tobacco investments under close scrutiny

| November 8, 2012

Australia’s Greens have blasted theNew South Wales government for investing almost $30 million in the tobacco industry, according to an Australian Associated Press story.

The Greens say the state should come clean on all of its investments.

On Tuesday, NSW Treasurer, Mike Baird, revealed the government had invested $28.7 million in tobacco companies through two trusts.

Baird provided the figures in an answer to a budget estimates question asked by NSW Greens MP, John Kaye.

It was the first time the state government had identified its tobacco investments.

The Greens have hinted that the NSW government could be trying to hide other investments because it provided information about only two of the state’s 12 trusts.

But the government has announced it will review its tobacco investments and make a decision on their future by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the state ofVictoriais proving more robust in the face of criticisms over investments, according to a story in the Age relayed by the TMA.

Malcolm Ashbolt, head of client services for the Victorian Funds Management Corp (VFMC), which manages investments for public sector organizations inVictoria, said that though VFMC no longer invested in cluster munitions, it had no intention of divesting its tobacco holdings, which were worth about A$117 million; or 0.3 per cent of its total investments of A$37.9 billion.

Category: Breaking News

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