The Mercury | Jeremy Picone | 2 November 2016

A Neighbourly Trick or Treat

The sight of my young neighbours dressed up as ghosts and trick-or-treating on my doorstep started me thinking about the importance of being a good neighbour, not just in my street but internationally.

These costumed youngsters were seeking treats, whereas their counterparts in neighbouring developing countries such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea may be seeking treatment for curable yet deadly diseases such as tuberculosis.

They too are on our doorstep, and what really scares me is that when we fail to assist we instead open our door to the spread of epidemics, or that other cruel trick, drug-resistance and untreatable strains.

By supporting our Government to deliver Australia aid on our behalf, we can contribute to the end of these epidemics, and a safer neighbourhood for all. Just last month I was grateful to see so many Tasmanian MPs call for an increased Australian Government pledge  to the Global Fund to Fight Aids Tuberculosis and Malaria. The next step needs to be increasing the overall aid budget, and undoing the ghastly cuts of recent years. Then we can call ourselves good neighbours once more, and ensure our streets won’t be haunted by the spectre of these epidemics.