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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.

"It has long been recognised that funding for climate programs needs to be additional to current overseas aid programs.

"Prime Minister Turnbull has been exposed as continuing one of the cruellest aspects of his predecessor, Mr Abbott -cutting Australia's overseas aid budget.

"Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed that the $1 billion climate fund that the PM announced at the Paris Climate Conference will all come from the current overseas aid budget.

"As well as robbing aid programs we now know that the climate aid is at a record low.

"The Turnbull government's audit report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change reveals a 36 per cent drop to $149 million allocated to specific aid. This assistance is at its lowest level since 2010.

"The Greens will continue to call on the government to quarantine the current aid budget and ensure separate funding is allocated for all overseas climate action.

"As the government appears set to cut a further $200 million from our overseas aid program each year for the next five years it should publicly disclose what projects will be wound up.

"These cuts come on top of the $11 billion taken out of the overseas aid budget by the Liberal-National government since 2013," Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact Brami Jegan: 0433 054 712


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