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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. 

‘Over the last two years the aid budget has suffered cuts of $11 billion under the Abbott-Turnbull government. The bulk of the remainder continues to fill the coffers of the private sector.  

‘The Prime Minister calls himself a friend of the Pacific, but his friendship is two-faced.

‘On the one hand he makes loud promises about helping them to combat climate change. Yet at the same time the Prime Minister pushes bad regional trade agreements like PACER-Plus that favour Australia, refuses to end fossil fuel subsidies, and makes aid and climate change commitments which fall well short of what our Pacific neighbours require to respond to the threat of rising sea levels. 

‘The Greens support the approach that we as a developed nation should commit at least 0.7 per cent of our Gross National Income to overseas aid. Assistance to respond to climate change in low income countries should be on top of the aid allocation. 

‘We need to mitigate our contributions to climate change, and we need to help developing countries combat its effects. 

‘This involve much more than just moving money from column A to column B and calling it innovative assistance,’ Senator Rhiannon said. 

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