The Tasmanian Greens today called on Retirement Benefit Fund members to step up their lobbying on tobacco investments, amid positive signs that the board was prepared to consider a change of policy.
In Parliament today, Greens Health spokesperson Paul O’Halloran today questioned the Finance Minister Scott Bacon, who indicated that the RBF board would be prepared to consider divesting tobacco investments.
“With the issue of tobacco investment now on the RBF board’s agenda, all that is needed to tip the balance is a bit more lobbying pressure from fund members,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“The most effective way to make the board sit up and listen is for fund members to lobby directly, or to vote with their money by joining an ethical fund.”
“It makes no sense for public money to be invested into this toxic and insidious industry.”
Mr O’Halloran said the news came a day after revelations in Senate Estimates that the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation was divesting its tobacco holdings of approximately $100 million.
“Public and private super funds all around the country are moving to dump big tobacco, and it’s time for Tasmania to catch up.”
“Tasmania’s RBF currently has about $27 million invested in companies like Philip Morris, British-American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco.”
“Every dollar of public money invested in these killer companies, is more money lost from the public health system and more lives lost.”
Paul O’Halloran MP Greens Health Spokesperson