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Labor refuses to support call to work towards the UN MDG 0.7% target

It’s incredibly disappointing that neither the Labor Party nor the Coalition supported my amendments to a Senate motion today which called for Australia to work towards the UN MDG 0.7% of GNI target.

I moved the following amendment to part (3): calls on the Government to reverse its $4.5 billion in cuts to Australia’s aid program and to work towards 0.7 per cent of GNI allocated to overseas aid by increasing funding to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2017-18.

To see the original motion click here and go to page 6 of the notice paper.

Orginal motion part (3): calls on the Government to reverse its $4.5 billion in cuts to Australia’s aid program and reinstate funding to levels published in the 2013-14 Budget

As we  know countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have already met this goal. 

Australia has not only lagged behind but the recent Labor government, under a succession of ministers, continually deferred even a conservative target of 0.5% of GNI.

In 2008, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith committed Australia to a target of 0.5% of GNI by 2015-16. This was reaffirmed in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2012 Minister Bob Carr deferred this target to 2016-17, and in 2013 he delayed it again to 2017-18.

Despite the ALP’s own platform calling on the party to work towards a goal of 0.7%, they voted with the Coalition to block such a call in the Senate.

As a rich country, Australia should be taking a lead role in alleviating global poverty and the Greens will continue to be a voice on this.

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