International Aid & Development

Lee is the Australian Greens spokesperson on international aid and development and has a long-standing interest in this area. Prior to working with the Greens, Lee co-founded and spent five years as the Director of AID/WATCH, dedicated to monitoring the social and environmental impact of Australia's overseas aid program.

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. Australia is playing the bad neighbour in a region with some of the highest rates of poverty and child malnutrition in the world.

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 2015.

But there is much more to it than increasing the dollar amount spent on aid.

Lee is 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.

In 2012 Lee secured support for a Senate Inquiry into Australia’s aid program in Afghanistan. You can read more it here.

As part of this she uncovered the Defence Department wrongly categorised almost $190 million in military spending as foreign aid.

Lee is currently working on:

media-releases

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.

 

media-releases

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.

speeches-in-parliament

Speech: Pay tribute to Andrew Hewett

06 Dec 2012

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

media-releases

$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.

media-releases

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.

 

motions

Motion: Lynas

29 Nov 2012

Australian mining company Lynas may be looking for new countries to export refinery by-products after being embroiled in lengthy environmental disputes in Malaysia. Senator Rhiannon moved a motion in the Senate with Senator Scott Ludlam.

media-releases

Launch of national campaign to get Hydro Tasmania out of destructive Sarawak Dams

27 Nov 2012

Indigenous leaders from the Malaysian state of Sarawak joined today with Australian Greens Senators Christine Milne and Lee Rhiannon to launch a national campaign calling on Hydro Tasmania to pull their support out of controversial dam proposals in Sarawak that will displace tens of thousands of people from their homes and flood large tracts of forests and farmland. 

speeches-in-parliament

Speech: Mekong River dam

19 Nov 2012

Senator Rhiannon spoke about the construction of the Xayaburi dam across the Mekong River by Laos and Thailand, and the role of Australian companies and aid money in this project.

speeches-in-parliament

Speech: World Toilet Day

19 Nov 2012

Senator Rhiannon spoke in the Senate about World Toilet Day.

estimates

Senate Estimates: FADT Committee

18 Oct 2012

Senator Rhiannon asks questions of AusAID on issues of overseas development aid in the context of Latin America and about the use of foreign aid to manage people seeking asylum in Australia

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