Tuesday, 13 June 2017
International Development Assistance
That the Senate—
(i) the Government's deeply disappointing decision to once again cut funding to aid in the 2017-18 Federal Budget by $300.3 million across the forward estimates,
(ii) Australia's Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) is currently at a record low as a proportion of Gross National Income (GNI), and will now plunge even further to 0.2 per cent of GNI by 2020, and
(iii) this decision comes as there are 60 million displaced people in the world, famines in parts of Africa and the Middle East, and increasing threats to prosperity as a result of climate change, amongst other global concerns; and
(b) calls on the Government to reverse these cuts, and as soon as possible identify a year by which Australia's ODA will reach the target of 0.7 per cent of GNI, as is our commitment to the United Nations, and as other comparable nations such as the United Kingdom have already achieved.
Australia will provide $3.912 billion in overseas development assistance in 2017-18, an increase of $84 million. This makes Australia approximately the 13th largest donor in the OECD. Overseas development assistance will increase to $4.1 billion in 2018-19 and will be maintained at that level until 2020-21, at which time it will increase again. Overseas development assistance is not being reduced. Australia is responding strongly to humanitarian needs by providing funding of $399.7 million in 2017-18, an increase of $60 million. The government will not commit to a prescriptive, time-bound aid target as a percentage of gross national income until the domestic economy is back on a sustainable footing.
I seek leave to move an amendment to the motion.
Omit paragraph (b) and substitute:
Question agreed to.