Documents obtained by Greens Senator David Shoebridge have revealed how the Future Fund has invested more than $600 million in public funds in global weapons companies.
The documents, current to 31 October 2023, show the Future Fund has direct holdings in 30 weapons and aerospace companies including Thales, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.
Remarkably the Fund’s board has invested nearly half a million dollars into the Israel-based Elbit Systems despite the Future Fund being banned from investing in Elbit System since at least 2021 due to ‘exclusions related to military weapons-related Conventions or Treaties ratified by Australia’.
Lines attributable to Greens Defence Spokesperson, Senator David Shoebridge:
“The Albanese Government needs to introduce mandatory ethical investment rules for the Future Fund and that must absolutely include a prohibition on investing in weapon manufacturers.
“Elbit Systems is meant to be excluded from the Future Fund’s investment choices because of exclusions related to military weapons-related Conventions and Treaties ratified by Australia.
“The Future Fund's board needs to explain how it continues to invest in Elbit Systems despite the publicly announced direction it gave to withdraw those funds because of Australia’s international legal obligations.
“Elbit Systems is also deeply implicated in the current destruction in Gaza where a suite of its weapons are deployed from artillery pieces to drones.
“The majority of Australians want peace and justice, not just in Palestine, but around the world, yet the country's wealth is instead being funnelled into companies that fuel violence.
“The Future Fund is meant to benefit future generations. That rings very hollow when they are investing in companies making equipment that ends future generations."
Lines attributable to Greens Finance spokesperson, Senator Barbara Pocock:
“We’ve been looking at some of the investments the Future Fund has been making through an ethical lens and found some very questionable products including fossil fuel ventures, gambling and now this, weapons manufacturing that could be contributing to the deaths of innocent civilians.
“I think many Australians would be deeply distressed to find out that our sovereign wealth fund, our money, is being used in a variety of ways that conflict with basic moral and ethical principles.
“We need to review the investment guidelines that govern the Future Fund and put some restrictions in place so that Australians can live with a clear conscience, knowing that our investments are making the world a better place and not the opposite.”