ANU investment decision bizarre: Pyne

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has described Australian National University's controversial decision to divest its fossil fuels share portfolio as bizarre.

The university has announced it's offloading holdings in Iluka Resources, Independence Group, Newcrest Mining, Sandfire Resources, Oil Search, Santos and Sirius Resources for ethical reasons.

Mr Pyne has weighed into the row.

"It's not me - for me to tell Ian Young or the ANU what their investments should be. I just think it shows poor judgment," he told ABC TV.

He's not worried about other universities following suit.

"They're high ethic-based companies and the idea that the ANU would make decisions around its investments based on a judgment that those companies are not ethical is a bizarre decision," he said.

South Australian treasurer Tom Koutsantonis called for the ANU to reverse its decision, describing the boycott as "a return to the dark ages".

The treasurer said Santos was one of SA's biggest employers and had been commended by the state Labor government this year for its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

"The ANU prides itself on being a celebrated place of intensive research so to base this decision on nothing more than a symbolic, box-ticking exercise is an embarrassment," he said on Tuesday.

"This state government will always base its resources policy on science, rather than emotion and scaremongering."

Several Anglican dioceses have also announced they will divest investments in fossil fuels.