When author Jennifer Mills found out about her super fund HESTA’s connection to offshore detention of refugees, she contacted them for more information about where exactly her money was invested. Unsatisfied with their response over the phone, she sent them this letter.
Dear fund managers,
I have been a member of HESTA super fund for nearly twenty years. It has recently come to my attention that HESTA is investing in Transfield Services Ltd (ABN 69 000 484 417), a company with government contracts to operate offshore detention facilities which imprison asylum seekers.
This is a deeply problematic investment. These facilities breach many international laws, violate human rights, and illegally imprison people who have committed no crime. I am morally opposed to their existence and actively work for the promotion of community based processing options for asylum seekers.
I was shocked to discover HESTA was investing in Transfield, especially as it is a fund that is specifically targeted at health and welfare employees, and these offshore detention facilities are wreaking untold damage on the health and welfare of their inhabitants (including staff).
One of the reasons I have stayed with HESTA is that I have felt that ethical investment is an option there. I have all of my funds in the ‘Eco Pool’. On telephoning HESTA this morning, I was informed that there was no way to ascertain whether ‘Eco Pool’ funds were being invested in Transfield Services Ltd.
I am writing to request that HESTA divest all funds from Transfield Services Ltd immediately. If this is not an option, please inform me as soon as possible so that I can withdraw my superannuation from your fund.
We’ll keep in touch with Jennifer about any response.