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International Aid and Development

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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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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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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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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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