CHAIR: We will now move on to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.
Senator RHIANNON: Mr Hunter, in your letter to the Canberra Times on the ninth of this month you stated:
EFIC's independent directors have additional directorships within the finance community. I am actually really tight for time; the chair is on my tail. So, if that is not a short answer, can you take this on notice? Can you state what those additional directorships are for your independent directors?
The Australian Greens say a new departmental report on aid has criticised the Abbott government for missing its aid target.
Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development Senator Lee Rhiannon said: "Performance of Australian Aid 2013-14, released yesterday, reveals the government has missed its 80% target for satisfactory ratings in gender equality.
"This report reveals that the claim of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that gender equality is a priority for Australian aid is just empty words.
The Greens are again calling on all parties to work together to develop a legislative framework for Australia's overseas aid spending after the Abbott Government cut a further $3.7 billion from the aid budget as part of the MYEFO mini budget update.
"The Abbott government has taken robbing the aid budget to fund their own domestic policies to the next level of cruelty, with total cuts by his government now around the $11 billion figure," Acting Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said.
The Abbott government seeks to privatise everything from higher education to the Australian Mint to its response to the Ebola crisis. It has extended its reach into state governments' policies in a push for them to privatise their public assets in order to receive infrastructure fundng.
The Greens are calling on all parties to work together to develop a legislative framework for Australia's overseas aid spending to stop governments of the day from raiding the aid budget to cover their economic mismanagement.
"It is damaging for our relations with low income countries that successive Labor and Coalition governments have slashed overseas aid spending while they continue to state publicly that they support such programs" Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
Commenting on media reports that the Abbott Government will announce more cuts to the foreign aid budget, Greens spokesperson for overseas aid Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
"It is insulting that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is joining in celebrations of 40 years of overseas aid, when all her government has done since coming into office is rip $600 million out of the aid budget with another $7.6 billion in cuts expected over the next five years.
Senator RHIANNON: I now want to move on to issues to do with global health programs.
Senator McEWEN: Senator Rhiannon, just while we are finding someone to answer those questions for you, the mysterious $800,000 was in DFAT's answer to QON 409. It was the amount that had been spent on consultancies for IT integration to date. So perhaps you could take on notice, Mr Varghese, whether that amount is still the same or whether or not it has increased.
The Greens believe that Australia, as a wealthy nation, has a responsibility to contribute our ‘fair share’ to poverty alleviation in less developed countries and devote 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income to overseas aid.
Australia’s spending on aid should also be transparent and accountable and aid projects should not be harmful for local communities or the environment. The key purpose driving the Australian aid program should be alleviating poverty.
Subscribe to the GreensMps Newsletter
Authorised by Richard Di Natale, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600