International Aid & Development

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.

By contrast, in 2012 Labor and the Coalition walked away from a bipartisan commitment to increase overseas aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015. Both Labor and the Coalition have made drastic cuts to the aid budget: $5.8 billion under Labor and $11.3 billion under the Coalition.

The Greens are working with aid and social justice groups to find a legislative solution to this problem and prevent further cuts.

Under Julie Bishop, the Coalition has also refocussed aid funding to be about ‘economic diplomacy’; the idea that aid should be used in countries that are strategically important to our own economic interests.

The Greens are campaigning to ensure that Australia’s spending on aid is transparent and accountable and that projects are not harmful for local communities or the environment. The key purpose driving the Australian aid program should be alleviating poverty, not promoting our national political and commercial interests.


Speech: Oaktree Foundation

06 Feb 2013

Christian Aid, Transparency and Accountability Initiative and a number of Australian aid groups have identified that financial transparency and accountability can play a key role in helping to prevent corruption and to develop policies, programs and legislation to give priority to public needs. The Oaktree Foundation is doing some outstanding work in this area.


Media conference: Lee Rhiannon on Carr's cuts to overseas aid budget to prop up failed refugee policy and on Coalition moves to cut Student Start-Up Scholarships

18 Dec 2012

Sen Lee Rhiannon gave a media conference on revelations that Labor will strip almost $400 million from the aid budget to pay for the balooning costs of the government's failed refugee policy. Sen Rhiannon also comments on statements by Coalition higher education spokesperson Brett Mason that Student Start-Up Scholarships would be on the chopping block in a Coalition government.


Greens Sen Lee Rhiannon on ABC 7.30 re aid cuts

18 Dec 2012

Australian Greens overseas aid spokesperson appeared on ABC TV 7.30 discussing Gillard government decision to cut $400 million from foreign aid to spend on their failed refugee policy here. Australians rightly expect our aid money to alleviate poverty overseas.


Minister Carr: spend aid to alleviate poverty, not on inhumane detention

18 Dec 2012

The Labor Government has just announced that around $400 million will be cut from foreign aid, and used to fund the cruel indefinite detention of vulnerable people who come to Australia seeking our pr


Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon ABC TV News aid cuts

18 Dec 2012

Gillard government sinks to a new low, cutting $400 million from foreign aid to spend on their failed refugee policy here. Australians rightly expect our aid money to alleviate poverty overseas. Senator Lee Rhiannon on ABC TV News.


Govt robs money from aid budget for failed refugee policy

17 Dec 2012

The Gillard government's plans to cut foreign aid programs by about $400 million breaks Labor's commitment to increase the budget allocation for overseas development, Greens spokesperson on foreign aid Senator Lee Rhiannon said tonight.



Australian govt loan under fire for supporting destructive gas project in PNG

12 Dec 2012

Australian Greens spokesperson for aid and development Senator Lee Rhiannon said that the Labor government's $500 million allocation to PNG's largest natural resource development is under a cloud following the release of a report that reveals contract favouritism to ExxonMobil and local corruption means few if any benefits will flow to ordinary people.


Speech: Pay tribute to Andrew Hewett

06 Dec 2012

Lee paid tribute to Andrew Hewett upon his resignation as Oxfam executive director. 


$190m Defence budget blunder: Carr should restore money to Afghan aid programs

06 Dec 2012

Australian Greens foreign aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon, commenting on the Defence Department admission in a Senate inquiry that it wrongly categorised almost $190 million in military spending as foreign aid, said the error was serious and undermines the government's stated commitment to increase aid spending to 0.5 per cent of Australia's GDP within three years.


Govt uses overseas aid dollars to grease wheels of PNG’s Manus Island detention centre

05 Dec 2012

Shifting aid money around as a sweetener for PNG reopening Manus Island is an inappropriate use of aid money, said Greens spokesperson for overseas aid Senator Lee Rhiannon.


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