The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, joined RESULTS International Hobart Group Leader, Sarah Brinckman, to condemn the Liberal plan to slash foreign aid spending.
“There is every chance that Tony Abbott will be the next Prime Minister of Australia and he revealed yesterday that he would rip some $4.5bn out of the foreign aid budget,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Our foreign aid budget helps the world’s poorest people, fulfils our obligations to the UN under international agreements and creates a more stable and prosperous region which is ultimately in Australia’s diplomatic, economic and security interests.
Mr Wilkie said the move would harm the Liberals electoral chances, particularly in Denison.
“According to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the foreign aid peak body, Denison has over 23,000 individual donors to foreign aid projects, 441 corporate sponsors of foreign aid and 77 church or community groups supporting aid projects overseas,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Moreover some 41 school groups in Denison have raised money for overseas aid.”
“These people volunteer their time and money to foreign aid projects because they understand the importance of helping vulnerable people around the world.”
“With these cuts Tony Abbott and the Coalition haven’t just betrayed the world’s poorest people; they’ve also betrayed the tens of thousands of community members in Denison, and probably millions around Australia, who are dedicated to helping others.”
“I have no doubt the Liberal Party will be punished at the ballot box for this bad policy decision.”