SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
PAT CONROY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE PACIFIC
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR DEFENCE
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING ON GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
MEMBER FOR SHORTLAND
The Morrison Government must reverse its cuts to Australia’s development assistance contributions in tomorrow night’s Budget in order to fill the void it has left in our region.
New figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show Australia gave 19 cents in foreign aid for every $100 of national income in 2020, down from 33 cents in 2011.
Australia has slid down the international rankings in terms of aid, falling from the middle of the pack when the Coalition came to office to being one the least generous OECD member countries today.
This is disappointing but not surprising given consecutive Coalition Governments’ deep cuts to foreign aid.
Since the Coalition came to office in 2013, they have slashed Australian official development assistance by more than $11.8 billion, hurting some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.
These cuts have diminished Australia’s standing in the Indo-Pacific and have undermined our interests in a stable, secure and prosperous region.
Scott Morrison has left a vacuum that others are filling at a time of rising geopolitical competition in our region.
Given the ongoing health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, developing nations desperately need Australia’s support.
Scott Morrison must put an end to cutting Australia’s foreign aid budget and announce a permanent increase in spending tomorrow night.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.