MEDIA RELEASE: Industry Super Funds Should Invest in Dairy

 In farming, Media Release, rural

LNP Senator for Queensland Gerard Rennick has called on Australia’s Industry Superannuation Funds to invest in Australia’s dairy industry.

Senator Rennick said, “I have been contacted by many Queenslanders concerned about foreign investment in our agricultural sector. Vast swathes of Australian land is being bought up by foreign interests. Take for example the $1.3 billion takeover of infant formula group Bellamy’s and the recent $600 million offer made for Lion Dairy & Drinks, both by the China Mengniu Dairy Company.”

“While approval for the sale of Lion Dairy & Drinks is ultimately a decision for the Foreign Investment Review Board; I’d like to see Australia’s Superannuation Funds, especially the industry funds, invest more of their significant capital in Australian agriculture and regional communities.”

“Given that many industry super funds are run by unions, I’d like to see the Labor Party lobby these funds to do the right thing. The lease of the Darwin Port to foreign interests was just one lost opportunity by the Industry funds. Rather than simply step aside for foreign interests, the Maritime Union of Australia could have invested in its own industry.”

“Unions, quite rightly want jobs kept in Australia, but why won’t they keep capital in Australia to protect these jobs?”

Investment by industry superannuation funds, either directly or indirectly into Australian agriculture and agri-businesses, is estimated to be worth $1.56 billion dollars. This is only 0.2 per cent of their total funds under management.

“As some of their biggest shareholders, superannuation funds should be lobbying the executives of Woolworths and Coles to pay a fair price for milk.”

Across all superannuation funds $600 billion plus is invested offshore.

“Untold millions of dollars each year is syphoned from the pockets of the battlers in the bush and sent to Sydney and Melbourne to manage at an enormous annual cost of around $34 billion in management fees. That’s great for creating jobs in the inner city, but it does very little for the regions. It’s time Australian superannuation backed Australian industries and jobs,” said Senator Rennick.

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