Monday, 9 December 2013
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee; Reference
That the following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 20 March 2014:
Australia's overseas aid and development assistance program in light of the Government's $4.5 billion cut to international development assistance, with particular reference to:
(a) Australia's ability to deliver aid against stated policy objectives and international commitments;
(b) Australia's ability to maintain its international development priorities, including sectoral, regional, bilateral and multilateral international relationships;
(c) the integration of AusAID into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the freeze in international development assistance funding;
(d) any unintended consequences of these changes; and
(e) any other related matters.
by leave—I move an amendment to business of the Senate notice of motion No. 3:
Before paragraph (a), insert:
(a) Australia’s deteriorating budget situation caused by the former Labor Government’s economic mismanagement;
I assume that will be supported by acclamation!
I thank my colleagues. Much as I often agree with Senator Stephens, I want to remind the Senate that over the final 15 months of the previous Labor government they removed $5.6 billion from the forward estimates of the aid budget. In contrast to Labor, our commitment to the aid program will be demonstrated by a reliable allocation of aid spending at around $5 billion per year. Finally, the coalition will ensure that the overseas development assistance is spent efficiently and effectively by committing to strengthening performance measures and by consolidating the program in the Indo-Pacific region. I thank my colleagues.
Original question agreed to.