March 7, 2013

2013 March 7 – Future Fund Quits Tobacco

MEDIA RELEASE                                                          

Lung Foundation Australia has praised the Future Fund Board of Guardians decision to exclude primary tobacco producers from its investment portfolio.

At 31 December 2012 The Future Fund held investments in 14 primary tobacco producers, totalling approximately $220 million.

The decision by the Future Fund followed a review of its investment policies and approach to environmental, social and governance issues.

 “Lung Foundation Australia and our campaign partners, including the Heart Foundation and Action on Smoking and Health, have worked tirelessly over many months to advocate for this disinvestment policy”, said Mr Darbishire Lung Foundation Australia Chief Executive Officer.

"A heartbreaking 15,000 Australians a year die from tobacco related diseases – that's 40 Australians dying each day from a preventable disease," said Mr Darbishire.

Mr David Gonski AC Chairman of the Future Fund Board of Guardians advised “the board noted tobacco’s very particular characteristics including its damaging health effects, addictive properties and that there is no safe level of consumption.”

Mr Darbishire is happy the government will finally be practicing what they preach, “The government has made serious progress around tobacco control in Australia by introducing plain packaging …but puzzlingly continued to invest in tobacco shares.”

Mr Darbishire says he is thrilled with the fund's decision and hopes the leadership demonstrated in this decision will encourage all super funds to sell down their shares in tobacco producers.

Lung Foundation Australia is the only charity devoted to serving everyone in Australia with a lung disease.

ENDS

For further media enquiries, please contact Bridget Dixon, Marketing and Public Relations Officer, on bridget@lungfoundation.com.au or (07) 3251 3644.