Lee speaks on Vision 2020 Australia's efforts in reducing blindness in the Indo-Pacific region, and calls on the Australian government to increase their funding commitments, including to the overall aid budget.
News that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will plunder Australia's aid budget to pay for overseas climate action creates a credibility gap for the PM and will result in increased hardship when aid programs are cut, Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
"Prime Minister Turnbull's $1 billion fund for climate programs in low income countries will come from cutting back essential programs in those same countries possibly resulting in health, education and sanitation projects being wound up," Senator Rhiannon said.
Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has warned that if the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook fails to restore funding to Australia’s overseas aid budget Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government will cause further damage to our standing with Pacific and Asian neighbours.
‘The Prime Minister needs to be a champion of overseas aid and his leadership should start with a plan to restore funding for health, education and sanitation programs in low income countries in next week’s MYEFO statement,’ Senator Rhiannon said.
Prime Minister Turnbull’s pledge of $1 billion over five years to combat climate change is not only inadequate but it is also dishonest, Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today.
‘Mr Turnbull is ripping this money out of an already decimated aid budget,’ Senator Rhiannon said.
‘The money promised by the Prime Minister has previously been allocated. He is double dipping.
Greens overseas aid and development spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on opposition leader Bill Shorten to use his Pacific trip to commit a future Labor government to scrapping the PACER-Plus agreement as it does not meet social and environmental standards for regional development.
"Mr Shorten can practice what Labor preaches on this visit by refusing to support weak regional agreements that promotes development detrimental to local communities," Senator Rhiannon said.
Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Turnbull government to move quickly to restore aid funding to the Fred Hollows Foundation and other non-government aid groups to ensure people in low income countries do not miss out on vital care and assistance.
"The Lateline report on critical programs run by the Fred Hollows Foundation that restore the sight of young children should be a wakeup call to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to restore funding to the Australian NGO Cooperation Program," Senator Rhiannon said.
Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale joined Greens spokesperson for international aid and development Senator Lee Rhiannon today to announce the Greens plans to fund international development.
“Australia’s foreign aid budget should be 0.7% of Gross National Income, and today the Greens are proud to announce an election commitment to achieve that by 2025,” said Senator Di Natale.
In this speech, I discuss the alarming effects of climate change being experienced in Papua New Guinea. It is the obligation of Australia as a large aid donor to PNG and a former coloniser to provide more aid to PNG, and to dramatically reduce human-induced climate change.
Yesterday I met with John Salisbury, who walked from Sydney to Canbera to protest injustices in Palestine. The situation in Palestine is worsening, and Australia must call for the seige of Gaza to be lifted, and for Israeli authorities cease the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
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.
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