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We began with a National Apology to Indigenous Australians, including the Stolen Generations. We saw the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The abolition of WorkChoices. The creation…More...
The Federal Government has given a lifeline to an important Fremantle service that has seen great outcomes in training at-risk young West Australians in trade and life…More...
Ms Parke (10:51am) – As with all my fellow members of the House of Representatives, it is my privilege to again have the opportunity to be part of the consideration of laws and policies in this place. But I am sorry that the first time I speak on legislation in the 44th Parliament is in relation to a set of bills as short-sighted as the ones we debate here. These bills can only be described as backward. They take the Australian economy backward; they stand to undo the very significant progress that has been made since 2007; they put us in retreat from the global challenge of addressing climate change; of reducing our reliance on finite hydrocarbons and building a world-class renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. And they do so without any reasonable claim to logic or reason or science or without any claim to consistency of position, and when the one claim the government will make—that the election provides a mandate for undoing some apparently intolerable electricity price increase—is without basis.
Melissa Parke MP, Federal Labor Member for Fremantle
The furore around the MP expenses issue has again reinforced the widely-held view in the community that parliamentarians are primarily motivated by self-interest rather than the national interest. I know this is not the case and yet simple assertion is not enough to counter the increasingly entrenched suspicion and cynicism in the community. There are written standards for ministers but not for other members and senators; there is no code of conduct, no training on ethics or conflicts of interest, nowhere to turn for guidance except in the myriad regulations administered by the department of finance, which are open to wide interpretation as to what constitutes parliamentary, electorate or official business.
Minister for International Development Melissa Parke said the decision of Tony Abbott to cut the Australian aid budget by $4.5 billion in the next four years is a shocking breach of trust with the Australian people and will have a negative impact upon Australia's reputation as a good global citizen.
"Tony Abbott had promised he would reach the commitment of 0.5 per cent GNI. The Coalition cuts to aid would make that impossible.
"Aid is focused on saving lives and alleviating poverty in some of the most fragile and disadvantaged countries, with a strong focus on assisting our regional neighbours. These reckless cuts will mean programs that save lives, educate children and improve governance and the rule of law will end, causing significant problems for the stability and prosperity of our region," said Ms Parke.
By Melissa Parke MP, Minister for International Development
The great Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley said, "We have a great objective – the light on the hill – which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand."
Our aid program is part of a long Labor tradition of internationalism that has produced results of which all Australians can be proud.
Under this Labor Government, Australia's contribution to international development has grown every year, increasing by 80% since 2007, and reaching 0.37% of GNI in 2013/14. It will grow a further 60% to reach 0.5% of GNI by 2017/18. Matching that growth has been the careful and thorough reform of our assistance program and of AusAID itself.