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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Myanmar)

Mr Chiddick, First Assistant Secretary (Reconstruction and Development) from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is questioned on the types of cooperation activities we are undertaking currently with the Myanmar police, military and border security authorities. Lee also asks if any of these activities are funded through the aid program.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (staff numbers)

Lee questions the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on staffing numbers at the Office of Development Effectiveness and the innovationXchange in DFAT.

Senator RHIANNON: ...I want to move on to some general aid questions. How many full-time equivalent staff currently work in the innovationXchange branch?

Mr McDonald: I think it is 10-

Senator RHIANNON: Ten?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank)

Lee probes the representative from Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Mr Fletcher, on the details of Australia's involvement with China in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. 

Senator RHIANNON: I would like to move on to some questions about China. I understand that Australia is currently working with China on an antimalarial project in Papua New Guinea. Is Australia planning to work with China on other development projects in the Asia-Pacific region?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Australia-Indonesia education partnership)

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you. I would like to move on to Indonesia. The web page for the Australia-Indonesia education partnership notes $524 million in funding for this program is under revision following consultation with partners. What is the status of these consultations and will funding for this program be reduced?

Mr Cox: Could you repeat the name of the program that you are referring to?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Global Poverty Project)

Lee asks Mr Exell from the Development Policy Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to clarify the budget allocation for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for the current financial year and also 2016-17.

Senator RHIANNON: I want to move on to issues to do with the Global Poverty Project. Can you confirm that at least $15 million will be allocated to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for 2015-16?

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Turnbull plunders overseas aid budget - more essential programs to be cut

News that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will plunder Australia's aid budget to pay for overseas climate action creates a credibility gap for the PM and will result in increased hardship when aid programs are cut, Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"Prime Minister Turnbull's $1 billion fund for climate programs in low income countries will come from cutting back essential programs in those same countries possibly resulting in health, education and sanitation projects being wound up," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Turnbull warned on overseas aid – use MYEFO to restore funding, end Abbott era cuts

Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has warned that if the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook fails to restore funding to Australia’s overseas aid budget Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government will cause further damage to our standing with Pacific and Asian neighbours. 

‘The Prime Minister needs to be a champion of overseas aid and his leadership should start with a plan to restore funding for health, education and sanitation programs in low income countries in next week’s MYEFO statement,’ Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Prime Minister Turnbull a two-faced friend to Pacific nations

Prime Minister Turnbull’s pledge of $1 billion over five years to combat climate change is not only inadequate but it is also dishonest, Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today.

‘Mr Turnbull is ripping this money out of an already decimated aid budget,’ Senator Rhiannon said.

‘The money promised by the Prime Minister has previously been allocated. He is double dipping. 

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