THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2015
SUBJECTS: Labor’s announcement on overseas aid
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well thanks for coming out this morning. I’m very proud to announce today that Labor will increase funding to Australian aid organisations to do the work that they do so well. An extra $30 million dollars a year to these terrific organisations will allow them to better deliver health and education, clean water and sanitation, medicine, medical services, reductions in child mortality, all of the things that our aid program has done so successfully. As well as extra funding, we want to see extra accountability. So I’m also announcing today that in government Labor will continue to publish – or begin to publish again – what’s known as “the blue book”: a full account at budget time of where our aid dollars go. As well as massive cuts to Australia’s aid budget, the Government has also decreased transparency; made it much harder to know what our dollars are doing and where they’re being sent. So I’m delighted today to be able to announce both extra funding and extra accountability and transparency in our aid budget. With the new sustainable development goals replacing our millennium development goals our targets are more ambitious and so our work has to be more ambitious. This extra funding, extra accountability, allows us to meet those new ambitions.
JOURNALIST: Have you had much feedback from NGOs recently?
PLIBERSEK: Yeah they’re pretty happy!
JOURNALIST: From your announcement, and in the last couple of years from the funding that they have received recently?
PLIBERSEK: Look, I’ve received very positive feedback on this announcement of extra funding for non-government organisations in the aid sector. We know that NGOs do more with every dollar they receive from government funding. They raise money from the Australian public and they work with public and private partners to deliver on the ground. So we think that this is a terrific way of getting maximum value for tax payers’ dollars. I’ve had very positive feedback from the NGO sector about this extra funding and many of them have been speaking to me in recent years about how difficult recent cuts and uncertainty of where those cuts will land have made delivering services. Many organisations have told me about successful programs in developing nations, serving the poorest people that they’ve had to cut because they lost funding. We hope that this extra money will give those organisations the ability to do what they do best: help the world’s poorest people.