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International Aid and Development

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Speech: Malawi Loses US$43 Million from Mining Company Paladin

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:25): Another matter concerns Malawi, which is also one of the low-income countries of Africa. In fact, it is regarded as the poorest country in the world according to the World Bank development indicators. The former Prime Minister Julia Gillard brought in the Mining for Development initiative, a new approach to overseas development where the mining industry is given aid money supposedly to assist it for its work in low-income countries, the argument being that this will benefit people in those countries.

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Motion: International Development Assistance

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:04): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 777 standing in my name for today, requiring military logistical support not to be accounted as foreign aid, be taken as a formal motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Senator Fifield: Yes.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Formality is not granted, Senator Rhiannon.Senator

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Overseas aid loses out again - Australia joins block on tougher tax provisions

Commenting on reports that the Abbott government played a role in watering down the tax responsibilities of multinationals at an international conference on foreign aid, Greens overseas aid and development spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"Australia's move to strike out a line calling on ‘full transparency' of payments from large corporations to ‘promoting transparency' is yet another example where the Abbott government has acted out of self-interest at the expense of developing countries.

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Burma aid cuts highlights Foreign Minister's portfolio failure

Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has accused the Abbott government of attempting to hide the impact caused by the latest $1 billion reduction in the overseas aid budget by failing to release details of the cuts.

"Foreign Minister Julie Bishop should publicly disclose what aid programs are being cut, when the cuts will occur and how the changes are being managed," Senator Rhiannon said.

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

Senator RHIANNON: Mr Varghese, in what countries in Africa is Australia represented by honorary consuls?

Mr Varghese : Could I take that on notice? I do not have that information with me, and I do not think there is anyone in the room who would have it.

Senator RHIANNON: If you do have honorary consuls, could you indicate what their occupations are in the countries that they represent and whether they have any links with mining companies.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Export Finance and Insurance Corporation)

Senator RHIANNON: Are you monitoring the current developments with the Export-Import Bank of the United States?

Mr Hunter : We are aware of some press and some of the developments there.

Senator RHIANNON: Have you considered the implications for export finance if the US Congress fails to vote to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank? What do you see those implications as being?

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