MEDIA RELEASE: Foreign Affairs: Two years of the Abbott Government, Sunday 6 September 2015

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: TWO YEARS OF THE ABBOTT GOVERNMENT

In the two years Tony Abbott and his Liberals have been in charge of foreign affairs, we’ve seen broken promises, nasty surprises, and pathetic excuses.  

Tony Abbott said he'd grow the aid budget.  Instead he cut it by $11.3 billion.

Tony Abbott said more aid would go to our region.  Instead, he cut $110 million of aid from our region.  

Tony Abbott said he would "protect Australia’s international reputation”.  Instead, faced with the Syrian crisis, the greatest humanitarian emergency of our era, he cut aid to the Middle East-North Africa by 82%, and aid to Iraq to zero.

Tony Abbott promised his foreign policy would be "more Jakarta, less Geneva".  Instead, we’ve seen Indonesia describe the relationship with Australia as reaching a “new low”.

Tony Abbott promised he would expand Australia’s diplomatic footprint.  Instead, he sacked more than 500 staff from the foreign affairs department and cancelled plans for new embassies. 

Tony Abbott promised a "coherent and effective foreign policy" that would advance Australia’s economic, political, and strategic interests.  Instead, his foreign minister says her “signature foreign policy” is a student exchange program.

Australia can’t afford three more years of the Tony Abbott and his Liberals.