Future Fund CEO Mark Burgess was met by protesters when he spoke in Sydney on August 20. Members of Uranium Free NSW dressed as nuclear missiles to highlight the fund's investment in nuclear weapons manufacturing.
The Future Fund, an Australian government investment fund established in 2006, has $227 million invested in 16 nuclear weapons companies. These companies make nuclear weapons and related infrastructure for France, Britain, the United States, India and Israel.
They include BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins and Honeywell International. The activists distributed leaflets to the public asking them to email the Future Fund and request they "divest from nuclear weapons companies and invest in a real future".
Nuclear non-proliferation campaign organisation the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) discovered the Future Fund was investing in nuclear weapons using freedom of information laws. Members of the organisation carried out two actions in Melbourne in August, asking the fund to divest from the nuclear weapons manufacturers.
On Hiroshima Day, on August 6, activists handed 1000 paper cranes from Hiroshima to Future Fund chair David Gonski in memory of the victims of the US nuclear attack in 1945.
Members of ICAN and the Medical Association for the Prevention of War asked Gonski to review the fund's investment portfolio so as to ensure taxpayers' dollars are not used to finance the nuclear weapons industry.
Tim Wright, Australian director of ICAN said: “The Future Fund should not be investing in any company involved in preparations for nuclear war”. Three days later, on Nagasaki Day, five activists visited the Future Fund's Melbourne headquarters there is "no safe level of consumption" for tobacco products.
The Australian government’s stance demands the question: what does it think a “safe level of consumption” might be for nuclear weapons.
[Email the Future Fund and ask them to divest from nuclear weapons at: email@example.com.]