Aid review submissions close soon
Anyone who wants to make a submission to the federal government’s international development policy review only has until 31 January 2020 to do so.
The review comes as the Morrison Liberal Government has flagged a policy reset when it comes to Australia’s international development policy. The government says it will develop a new policy framework for the aid budget, which will begin with the review.
Since the Coalition was first elected in 2013, the Australian aid budget has been cut, falling to its lowest level ever as a portion of overall spending.
Tim Costello is the Executive Director of Micah Australia, a coalition of predominantly young Australian Christians who want to see more and better international aid spending. Rev. Costello has welcomed the review and policy reset, saying this is an opportunity to canvass Australia’s role in the world.
“The opportunity to review aid isn’t simply about the Pacific or about dollars and figures, it’s also about soft diplomacy and deepening our relationships in the Indo-Pacific.”
“This review will be a consideration for the whole of our nation – our security, our compassion and humanitarian responsibilities, our diplomacy and our hard and soft power. All of these factors should be looked at in the review.”
Rev. Costello said that Australian churches, many of whom have deep relational ties in the Indo-Pacific region, should make a submission to the review.
“Within our region, it’s often the churches and faith-based NGOs that do the heavy lifting when it comes to development. This review is something that churches can really get behind and will have a lot to offer on. I will be personally encouraging churches to engage and make a submission.”
UnitingWorld, the Uniting Church’s aid agency, will be making a submission. UnitingWorld is also working with Micah Australia develop Christian responses to the review.
Dr Sureka Goringe is UnitingWorld ’s National Director.
“Churches have a unique role in leading social and developmental transformation from the grass roots, and we want our distinctive perspectives to be heard in this review,” said Dr Goringe.
The Uniting Church will be also making a separate submission.
Last December, Micah Australia’s Voices for Justice event in Canberra saw around 200 Christians and 15 Pacific Leaders meet with politicians to discuss the upcoming aid review.
Anyone wanting to make a submission to the review can do so here before 31 January 2020.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor
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