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Greens Senator requests consular assistance for Ebola mission

Greens Senator requests consular assistance for Ebola mission

Australian Greens Health Spokesperson and former public health specialist, Dr Richard Di Natale, wrote to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today seeking consular assistance for a field trip to West Africa.  

“Prior to being elected I was a public health specialist with experience in outbreak investigations so I am keen to visit West Africa to monitor the international response to the Ebola crisis.  

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What is the government doing to combat the global threat of Ebola?

Senator DI NATALE (Victoria) (14:23):  My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brandis. Does the government acknowledge concerns by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the current Ebola outbreak is the worst in history, having killed an estimated 3,000 people and with the potential to infect over one million people by January 2015 if not contained?

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Aid budget robbed for Iraq war

The Greens have condemned the Abbott government's decision to abuse money allocated for overseas aid programs to pay for military operations in Iraq.

Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said "Diverting aid money to pay for the war in Iraq will have fatal consequences.

"Funding humanitarian programs including health, education and sanitation are critical for peace, security and bringing stability to this region.

"Earlier this year the government ended all overseas aid funding to Iraq. Five years ago AusAID provided more than $360 million to Iraq.

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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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