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MOTION: Don't cut overseas aid! - Senator Lee Rhiannon

Greens spokesperson on overseas aid Senator Lee Rhiannon says it is disappointing that both Labor and the Coalition have shown their hand by voting against a motion protecting overseas aid from further budget cuts. 

Motion - 14 March 2013

That the Senate-

1)      Notes that:

a)      The United Nations' endorsed target to meet the Millennium Development Goals is for developed nations to devote 0.7 percent of GNI to foreign aid by 2015 yet Australia currently contributes a mere 0.35 percent.

b)      Both Labor and the Coalition went to the 2010 election with a commitment to increase aid to 0.5 percent of GNI by 2015.

c)       In the 2012/2013 budget, Labor pushed back by a year its commitment to increase aid to 0.5 percent and the Coalition removed its timetable altogether.

d)      Since the 2012/2013 budget the government has directed $375 million from the aid budget to pay for the onshore costs of detaining refugees, and the Australian Defence Force has had to re-classify almost $190m claimed to be  overseas development aid as military spending.

2)      Calls on:

a)  the Minister for Foreign Affairs to ensure that the overseas aid budget does not suffer further cuts in the May 2013/2014 budget;

b)  the Government and Coalition to publicly reaffirm their commitment to the UN's endorsed target of 0.7%  and to release their timetable for reaching the target.


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