In making this submission the ACTU notes and supports the Community and Public Sector Union’s submission to this inquiry and reiterates the concerns it raises.
The investment Funds Legislation amendment has several goals; two objectives are of particular interest to the union movement. The first would exempt the investment activities of the Future Fund from Freedom of Information Requests, while the second would permit the Chair to determine the conditions of employment for staff at the future fund.
By seeking to exempt the Future Fund from certain market-sensitive disclosure requirements, the Government is acknowledging that doing so could be detrimental for the beneficiaries of the investment. The Future Fund is an important vehicle for the Australian people to both invest for the efficient funding of public sector retirement liabilities, as well as to steward various funds through their capitalisation and draw-down periods. It has grown to be a significant investor in the market with more than $225 billion in funds under management, rivalling the largest investors in Australia. As a sovereign wealth fund, its assets, investment standards, and activities must be transparent to the public and best practice.