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International Aid and Global Justice

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Australian activist arrested at Lynas Malaysia protest - mass blockade

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has congratulated the Australians who are in Malaysia supporting thousands of locals protesting against the construction of an Australian toxic rare earth refinery plant near a city of 600,000 people.

The processing plant being built by Australian miner Lynas Corporation has met with strong resistance from locals with protests as big as 15 000.

"I am concerned about the 16 locals arrested during yesterday's peaceful protests including Australian Natalie Lowrey who has been detained for over 24 hours," said Senator Rhiannon.

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Bishop's corporatised aid plan set to damage communities

The Government's new plan for overseas aid to be delivered by private companies will see these companies profit while at the same time lives are lost. Aid for trade, and massive spending on large scale infrastructure projects, represents a far reaching realignment of our aid program towards Australia's interests over that of aid recipient countries and communities. Most of the nations that receive our aid do not have a strong private sector. It will be foreign multinationals or Australian companies that will pick up the infrastructure contracts.

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Bishop's corporatised aid plan set to damage communities

The Greens say the Coalition government's plan for overseas aid announced today is reminiscent of the discredited aid policies of the 1980s with Australian companies set to profit at the expense of impoverished communities in the Asia Pacific region.

"Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has corporatised Australia's overseas aid program to such a degree it could cost lives, while opening the door to corrupt practices," said Greens aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Abbott trashes the aid program

Foreign aid has had the deepest cuts of this brutal budget. Mr Abbott will take our contribution down to 0.31 per cent of GNI by 2017-2018. This is in stark contrast to the United Nations goal of a 0.7 percent target by 2015, which was signed by Australia in 2000. While some countries have already met their target, Australia has disgracefully slashed it year after year.

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Op ed: Foreign aid cuts offer a cruel climate for those in need

This piece was first published by the The Big Smoke on 1 April 2014.

The Abbott government’s downgrading of action on climate change combined with the savage cuts to the Australian foreign aid budget are set to significantly increase the levels of poverty and the hardship that millions of our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region live through on a daily basis.

The Coalition requirement that aid programs deliver for Australia’s national interest instead of poverty alleviation is also driving down the effectiveness of our overseas development work.

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Labor refuses to support call to work towards the UN MDG 0.7% target

It’s incredibly disappointing that neither the Labor Party nor the Coalition supported my amendments to a Senate motion today which called for Australia to work towards the UN MDG 0.7% of GNI target.

I moved the following amendment to part (3): calls on the Government to reverse its $4.5 billion in cuts to Australia’s aid program and to work towards 0.7 per cent of GNI allocated to overseas aid by increasing funding to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2017-18.

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