Positive signs from Labor on Australian aid

16 October 2015

Advocacy organisation RESULTS international Australia welcomed today’s announcement by Shadow Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanya Plibersek. She stated that if Labor is returned to Government at the next election, it would immediately begin to sharpen the poverty focus, increase transparency and accountability and add to the volume of the Australian aid program.

Ms Plibersek made this announcement in front of several hundred members of the aid and development sector at the 50th anniversary ACFID National Conference being held in Sydney.

Details of the announcement include

  • A $30 million per year increase in funding for the Australian aid organisations
  • $10 million annually to support planning, research, evaluation and collaboration to see how Australian aid is shaping up against its objectives and targets, using the Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint.
  • Restoration of accountability to the aid program by re-instating the “Blue Book” released with the annual aid budget detailing funding allocations by sector, by country and by region by region and against Australia’s targets around the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Reinstating “reducing poverty” as the main objective of Australian aid, legislating the objectives as well as the requirement around reporting and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Australian aid program

In welcoming this announcement, RESULTS CEO Maree Nutt said “This would be an important first step towards restoring the Australian aid program which has suffered more than $11 billion of current and planned cuts under the Coalition.”

“I echo Ms Plibersek’s comments that this announcement is a down payment on an essential repair job but I would also add that clearly more needs to be done.” Ms Nutt continued.

As a result of the cuts, Australian aid will soon drop to 0.22% of Gross National Income – its lowest level in history. RESULTS calls on both parties to commit to restoring aid to 0.3% of gross National income within the next parliamentary term, as a step towards reaching the target of investing 0.7% of Gross National Income on aid.

“Australian aid represents a sound investment in the health, wellbeing  and prosperity of those in our region and that’s good for all of us.” Ms Nutt continued

ENDS

Media contact:

Camilla Ryberg | 0435 182 567 | camilla.ryberg@results.org.au