Page 2172 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 9 May 2012

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consistently with those values, is significantly different from the exposure draft tabled almost two years ago. The bill does prohibit certain investments. I believe that the community does not find it acceptable to profit from these activities. As community representatives and those responsible for the way public money is used, I believe we have a responsibility to ensure this concern is reflected.

This bill is about leadership, and it is a proactive attempt to tackle a difficult issue in a manner that I think appropriately recognises that the Assembly can agree on some things and that some things are best left to a separate statutory body to decide.

The explicit prohibitions are tobacco, arms or armaments, cosmetics that are tested on animals, and the manufacture or sale of products produced using labour in breach of international labour obligations.

I do not propose to discuss the particular reasons for each of those. They are all fairly self-explanatory. Suffice to say that they reflect the legislated protections in the ACT and fundamentally there is no reason why, if it is appropriate for us to prevent or restrict an activity from taking place here, we should not be looking to profit from that activity when it occurs elsewhere. No doubt the particular detail and merits of the prohibitions can be well debated during the detail stage.

In addition to the explicit exclusions, the bill also creates the investment advisory board. The government already has external advice on investment matters and the Greens believe that this should be formalised and given an explicit statutory role.

The bill articulates the requirements for appointment to the board. These are modelled on the commonwealth Future Fund Act 2006 and adapted to the particular role of the proposed board here in the ACT. It is common for sovereign wealth funds to have this type of control structure and it is an appropriate and effective way of ensuring the responsible investment of public funds here in the ACT.

The board will be given the job of creating investment directions on a number of specific activities. These are gambling, factory farming, fossil fuels primarily responsible for climate change, uranium and timber products. Again, the reason these activities have been provided as the start of the board’s work and set out as requirements that must be met is because they are covered be existing territory laws in some respects. There will be debate about how far-reaching limitations on activities in these areas should go and it is appropriate that in the first instance we allow the investment advisory board to make that determination.

Investment in these activities will be permitted so long as it is consistent with the investment directions. For example, the board may determine that an investment in a company that extracts and refines oil is permissible so long as the company has a significant renewable energy investment or research and development activity as well.

The board will also be required to make directions about how the territory votes as a shareholder in shareholder resolutions. We know that currently the territory votes largely according to management directions and this means that we often vote inconsistently with the way this Assembly would vote if the resolution were before

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