House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Constituency Statements


9:33 am

Photo of Sid SidebottomSid Sidebottom (Braddon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Recently, the parliament hosted many young people from throughout Australia involved in the Make Poverty History campaign. One of those, Jess Jacobson, was a Tasmanian organiser. Jess is from my electorate and has been very active in taking up causes on behalf of the least fortunate around the world. She was passionate and is passionate about making poverty history. Hopefully we are all passionate about that. I gave her my commitment that I would make reference in the parliament to the Make Poverty History cause and I am now fulfilling that commitment. Along with many others, I believe, I signed on to a call for members of parliament to pass the following motion:

We reaffirm our pledge, first made in the year 2000, that we will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion are currently subjected.

The commitment went on to say:

With only five years until the international goals to address extreme poverty are due, there is now an urgent need to recommit ourselves to this task. We can and will do our fair share to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals. Our actions of the last twenty years have already succeeded in halving rates of extreme poverty. Within a generation we can and will make poverty history.

Indeed, we have the means; whether we have the willpower to do this as both a nation and a community of nations is another matter. I truly hope that we will continue to do this.

I might say that one of the factors I talked about as I hosted, along with others, a forum with the Make Poverty History group, was that it is about the way we use what we call aid in order to support those that most need it. Creating peace is one way to affect poverty in the world. The provision of educational services and better health services is absolutely crucial. Just talking about offering aid may not be enough. May I alert those who may be interested and may be listening to a controversial and thought-provoking book, which I think is important, by Dambisa Moyo. It is called Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa and was issued in 2009. (Time expired)