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PM's first week sees cuts to polio eradication funding

With the world on the cusp to become polio free, the Greens have have expressed their dismay at the Australian government's cut to polio eradication funding by half.

"The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was started by an Australian in response to the worldwide tragedy that is polio," said Greens spokesperson for international aid and development Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"The complete eradication of polio is in sight. To back away from our full funding commitment to this initiative is incredibly irresponsible

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Leaked documents puts spotlight on Australia's self interest in Pacific

Following the leaking of text from the Pacific free trade talks, the Greens are calling on the Australian government to end negotiations and undertake the necessary social and environmental impact assessments.

A draft chapter titled "Development and Economic Cooperation" from the regional free trade agreement known as PACER-Plus has been leaked by the Pacific Islands News Association.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/nvk242n

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Speech: Greens' International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:18):

The inquiry into the Greens' International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015 was very useful. Some excellent information was presented to us. There were 14 submissions from non-government organisations, as well as from the department. It certainly did highlight the need for legislative change. There was a range of suggestions of how this could be taken forward.

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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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