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International Aid and Global Justice

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: I will move on to the Pacific now. How much Australian funding has been contributed to the survey and registration of land for individual land ownership or title in the Pacific?

Mr McDonald : I think we will need to take that on notice.

Ms Rawson : I do not have that level of detail with me so I will take it on notice.

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you. I am interested in where land titles across the Pacific are held. Are they actually lodged somewhere?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

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.

Mr Varghese : I am happy to do that.

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Aid budget robbed for Iraq war

The Greens have condemned the Abbott government's decision to abuse money allocated for overseas aid programs to pay for military operations in Iraq.

Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said "Diverting aid money to pay for the war in Iraq will have fatal consequences.

"Funding humanitarian programs including health, education and sanitation are critical for peace, security and bringing stability to this region.

"Earlier this year the government ended all overseas aid funding to Iraq. Five years ago AusAID provided more than $360 million to Iraq.

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Motion: International Development and Disability

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:44): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 80 per cent of people with a disability live in developing countries,

(ii) over 20 per cent of the world's poorest people in developing countries have a disability,

(iii) children with a disability are much less likely to attend school than children without a disability, and

(iv) it is estimated that armed conflict will be the eighth most common cause of disability worldwide by 2020; and

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Ebola: Greens urge Bishop to back on-ground teams for West Africa

The Greens have called on the Australian government to join the growing international response to the Ebola crisis by sending a large scale on-ground team to West Africa to undertake medical and logistical work.

"The Australian government should be part of the international team that have committed logistical and health personnel to the region," Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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Questions Without Notice: Aid and the budget

I move:

That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann) to a question without notice asked by Senator Rhiannon today relating to overseas development aid.

The response from Senator Cormann representing the Treasurer was deeply disturbing. He failed to address the question which adds to the concern that has grown since we heard the comments yesterday from the Treasurer, Mr Hockey, when he was appearing on Sky News. He said:

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Israel's "collective punishment" kills civilians; Gaza's Ark destroyed

The Greens NSW have condemned Labor and the Coalition for their silence on the Israeli government's sustained and unrelenting military attack on Gaza.

Greens NSW Upper House MP David Shoebridge said, "Israel's military offensive in Gaza has now killed over 170 Palestinians and left over 1400 injured. This has continued because of leading western states refusing to take a position against Israeli violence.

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Motion: International development assistance

Senate passes Lee's motion that the government increase Australia's contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:38): I move: 

That the Senate— 

(a) notes that: 

(i) the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (the Global Fund) is working to eventually eradicate deaths from these diseases, 

(ii) the Global Fund has raised from national governments and private donors $12.2 billion of the $15 billion it is seeking for the period 2014 to 2016, 

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Adjournment speech: International development assistance

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (20:44): On another matter, the world's three major pandemics—AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria—cause an enormous amount of death and disability, generally striking those in the most productive years of their lives as well those who are the most vulnerable. For years the fatalistic view prevailed that nothing could be done to stem the tide, but in recent years scientific advances have led to highly effective interventions which have become affordable.

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