During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Tuesday 1 August 2023, I asked the Queensland Investment Corporation about their stake in the Brisbane Airport Corporation and concerns about flight noise.
You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).
Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the QIC as well. It is in relation to QIC’s existing 25 per cent stake in the Brisbane Airport Corporation which, as you know, has faced criticism following the construction of its new runway and the scheduling of additional flights that are having significant environmental and social impacts. Has QIC assessed its investment in BAC against the Sustainable Investment Classification Framework in your Sustainable Investment Policy, including the environmental, social and climate impacts of the new runway and flight paths and if so what was the outcome of that assessment?
Ms Rampa: That investment is owned in one of the funds of QIC. We have an interest in that fund. With all investments, an environmental study would have been conducted at the time of the airport extension. That would have been obviously approved at the time by the investment committee and the range of co-investors, which are some of the largest investors in this country that we co-own that asset with in our fund. I would add that all of our assets are assessed on an environmental perspective on an ongoing basis.
Mr BERKMAN: Further to that, can you share with us what avenues exist for the shareholding ministers in QIC to intervene to address the community’s concerns around flight noise and do they have any say, for example, about whether QIC might divest its BAC shareholding?
Ms Rampa: No, it is a matter for the fund and the investors in the fund. As I said, it is not a QIC balance sheet. We manage the asset on behalf of other large institutional investors. They all sit on investment committees. They are very aware of the issue and they are running, obviously, a very strong community engagement project and plan in order to resolve the issues within the community.
Mr BERKMAN: For clarity, can you share with the committee the details of that investment fund, which fund is it and/or what are the major institutional shareholders you referred to a moment ago?
Ms Rampa: It is owned in our Global Infrastructure Fund, called QGIF 1.
Mr BERKMAN: Finally, has the QIC or the fund more directly, I suppose, assessed its exposure to financial risk from a potential class action lawsuit around the additional flight noise and from residents who are affected by noise attributable to BAC?
Ms Rampa: Those issues are an ongoing matter for the investment committee and the investors in the fund. This would be discussed at every board meeting and every investment committee meeting. All of those issues would be taken into account into what is the impact on the asset, on the holding of the asset, the valuation. I know that the investment team are working very hard to try to reduce or do whatever they can to improve the situation. The reality is that it is critical infrastructure and it has been operating as an airport for some time, but they try to manage those issues as best as they can and they would be, on a constant basis, reviewing any long-term impact.