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.


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.



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.


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. 


Speech: World Toilet Day

19 Nov 2012

Senator Rhiannon spoke in the Senate about World Toilet Day.


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.

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