HESTA divests from Transfield Services

19 August 2015

Health superannuation fund HESTA has announced it has divested from Transfield Services, the company currently running Australia's offshore processing centres.

HESTA announced it had divested in a media release, stating it had sold its $23 million (3.5 per cent) stake in Transfield Services after careful consideration of whether its investment met with its environmental, social and governance (ESG) policy.

'If a company is identified as not complying, directly or indirectly, with international laws, standards or guidelines, we may consider divestment of any such companies,' the HESTA statement said.

'A number of independent non-government organisations have found that the mandatory, prolonged, indefinite, and non-reviewable nature of detention at asylum seeker processing centres breaches the fundamental principles of international human rights law.

'As a responsible owner of the companies we invest in, the decision to divest involved a rigorous process, informed by advice from our internal investment team and external engagement service providers.'

HESTA’s decision to liquidate its Transfield Services stock came after extensive lobbying from members of the public and external stakeholders, including ANMF (Vic Branch) members, who opposed Transfield's running of the offshore detention centres at Nauru and Manus Island.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said members would be highly supportive of the move.

'We commend HESTA on its decision to sell off its investments in Transfield Services,' Ms Fitzpatrick said.

'This is a victory for members who were opposed to offshore processing, the detention of children, the elderly and the mentally ill, and disturbed by the serious concerns raised by both the United Nations and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

‘It also means that both HESTA and First State Super no longer have stock in Transfield Services.

'We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with HESTA and First State Super in the future.'