Australia’s Industry Super Funds have earmarked close to $30 billion for infrastructure projects as part of a plan to drive the nation’s economic recovery and grow members’ savings.
The ambitious plan will see the collection of 26 funds pump a total of $28 billion into “solar farms at Darwin airport, other airport terminal expansions, rail upgrades” and several other projects.
“Our funds have been helping members through the tough times and we stand ready to help get them safely back to work and the economy growing again,” Industry Super Australia (ISA) chair Greg Combet said.
“We’ve got significant funds available and plans to provide capital to solid Australian businesses and bring forward large investments in major projects and essential infrastructure that will create new jobs and sustain many more.”
Industry funds already own a collective $80 billion of infrastructure and property assets, and spend enough each year on the sector to keep 46,000 Australians in jobs.
The additional influx of capital will help to increase those numbers and create new jobs.
“We’re determined to play a key role in helping Australia’s economic rebuild,” Mr Combet said.
“Because that gets some members working again and delivers long-term returns for all.”
The announcement follows the release of almost $10 billion from superannuation sector to Australians in need as part of the government’s early access program.
Super funds play vital role raising equity
In previous crises, super funds have played a critical role in restarting Australia’s ailing economy.
Research from the Allens Consulting group found super funds contributed 48 per cent of the capital raised by businesses in need of cash during the GFC.
That’s despite funds owning only 26 per cent of shares on the stock market at the time.
And with Australian businesses raising over $21 million since February alone according to Montgomery Investment Management, it’s clear businesses are once again searching for additional funds.
During the GFC, roughly 150 Australian businesses were able to drum up almost $120 billion in new equity to support their growth.
Almost half of that came from Australia’s superannuation sector.