The View from Parliament House

Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, emphasised the sector’s collective responsibility to demonstrate to all Australians what the benefit is of our Australian aid program. “In doing so”, says the Senator, “we need to respond to those who ask why we spend taxpayers' money overseas rather than at home or not at all, and why we spend money on our neighbours when their economies in some areas are growing and their prosperity is rising”.

You can read Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells’ speech in full here

-          Senator Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

Shadow Minister for International and the Pacific, Penny Wong, reflected upon the importance of development assistance, and the growing inequality around the world today. In this current environment, said Senator Wong, “there’s an immense need for support for development assistance to come before partisan politics. Global demand for development assistance has not subsided, but the global trend to isolationism and nationalism is putting aid under increasing strain in donor nations”.

Referring to the Government’s changes that came with AusAID’s absorption into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Senator Wong went on to assert that in order to ensure Australian Aid is prioritised and valued within the Department, and amoungst Australians, a Shorten Labour Government would “work with the changes that have been made” to the Australian Aid program because “you can’t unscramble an egg”.

Read Senator Wong’s full speech here

-          Senator Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader

Senator Richard Di Natale emphasised the need for civil society to be strong if transformational change is to occur, citing the latest proposed policies to restrict charities from receiving international philanthropy as an example of the Government promoting policies to clamp down on this vital space.

You can read Senator Richard Di Natale’s speech in full here