Resources Minister Keith Pitt has slammed calls for two major superannuation funds, QSuper and Sunsuper, to abandon coal, saying if that happened, it would deprive hundreds of thousands of members of a good investment option.

Mr Pitt said the Australian Conservation Council is using a tiny minority of the funds’ members to push its activist agenda.

“The Conservation Council says around 200 members have written to the funds calling on them to stop investing in coal, which is about 0.01 per cent of QSuper and Sunsuper’s combined membership,” he said.

“To deprive more than 1.88 million other members of solid investment returns on the whim of a relative few and the ideological motives of the Conservation Council is farcical.

“The coal industry employs over 60 thousand Australians and generates billions for the state and national economies and is forecast to continue doing so for decades to come.

“Several major resource companies have plans for new coal mines and expansion to existing ones and Australian superannuation funds should be free to support, and invest in, a legitimate and productive Australian industry.”