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Farmers fleeced by wealthy water investors

John Rolfe, The Daily Telegraph investigative reporter, joins Michael to discuss his latest investigation that reveals that wealthy investors in water are revelling in returns three times better than the best super fund, but farmers say those gains are pricing them out of the market and destroying manufacturing jobs.


Mr Rolfe writes, ‘The Daily Telegraph can reveal Australia’s largest water fund, run by Argyle Capital Partners, delivered an 11 per cent gain in 2019-20. And that was a lean year.’


‘Since starting in 2012, the $300 million fund has averaged annual returns of 17.7 per cent for clients, who are all certified as “sophisticated investors”, meaning they earn at least $250,000 or have net assets of $2.5 million-plus.’


‘Meanwhile rival manager Duxton Water, which has been accused of hoarding water, reaped a return of 7.7 per cent in 2019-20.’


‘By comparison the top super fund made its members 3.8 per cent in the year to June 30 – half of what Duxton achieved and a third of Argyle’s gain.’

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