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International Aid and Development

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Greens launch bill to increase overseas aid

The Australian Greens today launched a bill setting out a clear timeline to ensure Australia stops chipping away at the aid budget and meets the global target to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on foreign aid by 2020.

Costings from the Parliamentary Budget Office show that meeting this goal would cost $2.6 billion over the next four years - money that could be raised if Labor included gold in the mining tax.

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Labor and Coalition vote against protecting aid budget

On a day when 1000 young people gathered outside the Australian Parliament to rally their elected representatives to commit to ending extreme poverty, it is disappointing that inside the parliament Labor and the Coalition voted against taking any firm action to do so, the Australian Greens said today.

Labor and the Coalition both voted against a Greens motion to protect the overseas aid budget from further budget cuts; and then the Minister for Foreign Affairs could not provide a date for when it would commit 0.7% of GNI to overseas development assistance.

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Greens push for more and better overseas aid

Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne and Greens spokesperson on overseas aid Senator Lee Rhiannon will join the Oaktree Foundation rally tomorrow morning.

Christine Milne will speak at the launch of 'The Movement to End Poverty', an initiative of the Oaktree Foundation with up to 1000 young people visiting parliament to lobby for more and better overseas aid

The Senate will vote on a Greens motion to protect the overseas aid budget from cuts in the upcoming budget (motion below) at 11.50 - 12.30 tomorrow.

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Greens call on Australia to end its silence on Sri Lanka's atrocities

The Australian Greens today call on the Government to stand up for the human rights abuses and condemn the Rajapakse regime.

"It is obvious the Australian Government is more interested in collaborating with the Sri Lankan government and navy with regard to trying to stop people seeking asylum than addressing the reasons why they are seeking asylum in the first place." Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

"It is not good enough to just accept without further investigation the Rajapakse Government's assurances."

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Launch of national campaign to get Hydro Tasmania out of destructive Sarawak Dams

Indigenous leaders from the Malaysian state of Sarawak joined today with Australian Greens Senators Christine Milne and Lee Rhiannon to launch a national campaign calling on Hydro Tasmania to pull their support out of controversial dam proposals in Sarawak that will displace tens of thousands of people from their homes and flood large tracts of forests and farmland. 

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said: "Hydro Tasmania cannot walk away from their responsibility for the damage these dams will cause to thousands of villagers in Sarawak.

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Government and Coalition fail to protect endangered orangutans

The Australian Greens today condemned the Government and Coalition for refusing to request the Indonesian government to fully enforce its law that protects the Tripa forest in Indonesia.

Reports that palm oil companies and Indonesian police have been intimidating villagers and clearing and burning the Tripa forests in Indonesia are shocking, the Australian Greens said today. The protected Tripa forest is home to the threatened Sumatran orangutan, and people have reported grave health problems from forest burning, as well as threatened livelihoods.

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Liberals join Labor in abandoning foreign aid commitment

The government and opposition joined forces to vote down a Greens motion seeking to reaffirm the tripartite commitment to the target of at least 0.5% of gross national income going to overseas aid by 2015.

"Prime Minister Gillard has effectively given Tony Abbott permission to abandon the decade old cross-party commitment to the globally agreed overseas aid budget to achieve the Millennium Development Goals," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

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Government aid decision a mistake: Greens

Senator Rhiannon also gave a press conference on this issue on 9 May.

The Australian Greens say the government's decision to defer the promised increase in overseas aid in this year's budget is a serious mistake. 

"It is disappointing that because it locked itself into obtaining a surplus the government has broken its commitment to increase foreign aid," Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

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