Welcome Signs of New Australian International Development Policy

19 Nov, 2019

The Australian Council for International Development – the peak body for Australian non-government organisations involved in international development and humanitarian action – has welcomethe Government’s intention to create a new Australian development cooperation policy.

ACFID is calling on the government for a review consultation that includes the views of the Australian public, Australia’s aid and development sector and engages with our regional and international country-partners.

In an interview with podcast, Good Will Hunters, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Hon Alex Hawke MP, confirmed that an announcement on a “new aid plan” would be “coming in the near future”. 

Commenting, CEO of ACFID, Marc Purcell, said:

“For 70 years, Australia has assisted countries to create a more stable, peaceful and prosperous world through international aid and development. But we must always be vigilant about how the international environment is changing and tailor our foreign policy accordingly. 

“A new development cooperation policy provides an opportunity to consider that environment and shape our response accordingly so it can best tackle poverty, injustice and inequality.

The case for relevant Australian development assistance is compelling: Pacific Island nations are facing an existential crisis created by climate change; in Bangladesh, more than one million Rohingya people have fled persecution from Myanmar; and in South-East Asia over 300 million people live in extreme poverty, and inequality is rising. 

“Australia’s response should be to rise to these challenges and for the best of Australian expertise and experience to be harnessed to work with our neighbours.   

“By having a well-targeted plan to assist neighbours, Australia can have greater impact with its development assistance program in creating a more prosperous and stable region. It can also earn a reputation as a good neighbour and a consistent partner. 

“To be effective, this new plan must leverage Australian society and every arm of Government. We have a lot of assets: the near one million Australian residents who have Southeast Asian heritage and connections into the region; the 1.5 million Australians who support Australian community organisations doing development and humanitarian work internationally; the private sector; the health and education sector; and Australia’s agricultural and science expertise. 

“ACFID and our members look forward to playing an active part in the consultation and development of the Government’s new plan.”


Notes to Editors

  • In May 2019, ACFID called for the incoming government to undertake an independent review of Australia’s aid program with the aim of creating a new, modernised development cooperation programLink  

  • ACFID’s peak-body counterpart in the private sector – the International Development Contractors Community (IDCC) – came together with ACFID to call for the review. Link 

Further Information

For further information, contact Tim Watkin at [email protected] or on 0401 721 064.