Wednesday, 16 September 2015
McPherson Electorate: Elanora State High School
I had the pleasure yesterday of meeting with one of my constituents, Josh Morgan, who is doing outstanding work as a volunteer with RESULTS, as well as Murray Proctor, who is a global health consultant for RESULTS International (Australia). They are a movement of passionate committed everyday people and an active member of the Australian Council for International Development and the Campaign for Australian Aid, working internationally with RESULTS counterparts in the ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership on improving access to health, education and economic opportunity.
From 25 to 27 September, leaders are gathering to endorse the sustainable development goals, or global goals, which the UN development program calls:
A historic pledge to end poverty. Everywhere. Permanently.
They say we cannot achieve sustainable development goal 3, which ensures healthy lives and promotes wellbeing for all at all ages, without increased access to vaccines against preventable diseases and treatments of epidemics like HIV, TB and malaria amongst the poorest and most remote people in the world, including in our region. They have urged that funding for the aid program be reinstated to 0.3 per cent of GNI by 2018-19. I support this. I think that aid cuts are foolish. In fact, they proved to be one of the drivers of the regrettable flight of asylum seekers from refugee camps to Europe that we are seeing now. I think that we need to have an aid budget that reflects our commitment to people in need abroad.
RESULTS has also expressed the opinion that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in its current form, has the potential to disadvantage the least developed countries in our region by reducing access to affordable medicines and vaccines. They believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership has the potential to reduce the impact of Australia's aid investment in the region, both bilaterally and multilaterally. I want to indicate that I share their concern about evergreening, patent abuse, special exclusivity, data exclusivity and patent linkage as well as investor-state dispute settlement issues in current and future trade deals. I call on the foreign minister to publicly state the government's position regarding the impact of these on the effectiveness of Australian aid dollars.
Yesterday, I also had the pleasure of meeting with Alan Kirkland, the Choice CEO, as well as public health expert Dr Deborah Gleeson of Latrobe University, who expressed similar concerns about the impact of the TPP on the extension of biologics. (Time expired)