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2019 Federal Election
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WA - Surrogacy
Pages tagged "millennium development goal"
For politics to work, trust is vital
· May 08, 2014 10:00 AM
One of the disappointing features of modern politics is that it is almost expected that promises will not be kept.
There is a desperate need for public respect to be restored to our political class.
Their work on our behalf is too important to be traduced.
The Abbott Government looks set to break its promise about no new taxes with the so-called deficit levy.
Financial responsibility is of course vital and our generation must not be leaving a burden for the next.
The small target strategy of political campaigning means that both sides approach elections by trying to be as small a target as possible.
In the last campaign, this meant that the Coalition made promises about reigning in government expenditure with the unrealistic expectation that this could be done without cuts to key areas or tax rises.
With the budget approaching next week, this is exposed.
An election promise that was broken last week with little media fanfare was on overseas aid.
Both Labor and the Coalition have for years been crab-walking away from its Millennium Development Goal promise to raise our overseas aid to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015.
But before the election, the Coalition promised to raise aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI, although it could not say when it would get there.
Last week it was announced that aid would be de-coupled from GNI and capped at $5 billion.
This means that our generosity to the world’s poor cannot grow as our nation’s prosperity grows. It is a breach of an election promise.
All of us make commitments at times that we need to retract because of changed circumstances sometimes beyond our control.
But this should be accompanied by repentance and humility.
Parliamentarians are trapped by a merciless ‘gotcha’ style of journalism and public discourse which leaves little room for these concepts.
The apathy of most people towards politics also facilitates this unreal discourse.
And when it comes to an issue like aid – designed to help people overseas in extreme poverty – our preoccupation with our own prosperity means a promise like this can be breached with very little political consequence.
Labor’s seemingly unwillingness to pursue the Government on this suggests it is complicit in the decision to scale back our aid promise. It certainly deferred billions of dollars of promised aid in the past two budgets.
Principled public leadership is hard but we must find a way to see it restored in our political culture.
This should be a priority of all involved in public life. The next generation will thank us if we achieve it.
Make your pledge to 'finish the race' and halve world poverty by 2015
· February 21, 2013 11:00 AM
Australia was one of the 189 member states of the United Nations that had signed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 to halve world poverty by 2015.
At the last election both Labor and the Coalition had committed to boost foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) by 2015-2016, yet both parties have backed down on its commitment. The government’s commitment stands at just 0.35 per cent of GNI - well short of what is needed to eradicate poverty and help developing nations implement poverty-reducing policies.
From the beginning ACL has lobbied for government to reach the target as outlined by the MDGs and endorsed Australia's willingness to be more generous to the poor. ACL committed itself to communicating parties' election promises to the Christian constituency, including the
ALP's promise not to cut aid
In the lead up to this year's federal election campaign, the Australian Christian Lobby will be asking major political parties to recommit to the MDG goals and specifically the 0.7 per cent of GNI. Micah Challenge has launched its own campaign to 'Finish the Race' - calling on Australian leaders to 'finish what we started' and do our fair share towards achieving the MDGs and halving global poverty by 2015.
Join with Micah Challenge, churches, and other Christian organisations in speaking out against poverty and injustice, and encourage our leaders to act in fulfilling our commitment to reducing world poverty.
Make a pledge today by visiting
Worldwide child death rates drop by millions
· May 27, 2010 10:00 AM
In heartening news in the global fight against poverty, the worldwide death rates of children under five years of age have dropped by 4.2 million in the last 20 years – from 11.9 million deaths in 1990 to 7.7 million deaths in 2010.
A new report from
medical journal has revealed that across 21 regions of the world, rates of neonatal, postneonatal, and childhood mortality are declining. Child death rates have dropped by about 2 percent each year from 1990 to 2010, and in many regions - including some of the poorest in Africa - the declines have started to accelerate.
Although these figures are still a long way short of the Millennium Development Goal of cutting the 1990 child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015, they nevertheless provide evidence of a significant decrease in child death rates and indicate that the millennium strategies are having a very worthwhile effect.
According to a report in the
New York Times
, factors which have helped lower death rates include vaccines, AIDS medicines, vitamin A supplements, better treatment of diarrhoea and pneumonia, insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria and more education for women.
However, despite this improvement, an enormous number of children are still dying from preventable causes each year, with a third of all deaths occurring in south Asia, and half in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Australia, the risk of a child dying is comparatively very low (4.7 per 1,000 births) but we appear to be lagging behind many other countries in terms of reducing child mortality rates. Click
for more details.
In other foreign aid news, the Federal Government has announced it will provide more than $400 million in foreign aid to Africa by 2015, with funds to go towards helping Africa develop better farming practices and providing development awards, among other things. Click
for more details.
In more disappointing news, however, there have been revelations this week of substantial parts of the foreign aid budget being wasted, with reports that tens of millions of dollars are being squandered on paying mega-salaries to consultants and lucrative contracts to private firms. Please click
to read more.
It is vitally important that Australia continues to increase its commitment to foreign aid – and hence saving lives. However this money must go towards the areas of greatest need – not to lining the pockets of consultants.
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