POSITIVE POLICY

Letting Australian NGO's Do Their Good Work Overseas

Social justice and environmental protection play a central role in economic growth and development. It is now well acknowledged that inequality hampers growth.

The IMF, OECD, Reserve Bank of England, and various Nobel economists are all saying that more equal growth is good for the rich as well as the poor, and that more equal growth equals longer, stronger, and higher growth.

It is now undeniable that climate change will have, and in places is already having, a particularly savage effect on developing nations.

This includes nations in the Pacific which have contributed little carbon pollution to the atmosphere, but are feeling climate change in their everyday lives already. 

At the same time we face acute development challenges as millions of people are displaced by conflict across the world.

It’s clear that with new global challenges like this, our aid program needs to change too.

That is why future Labor Government will provide greater certainty and more support to Australian NGOs to make sure they are well placed to meet global development challenges.

A Shorten Labor Government will provide an additional $30 million a year to the Australian NGO Cooperation Program from 2017-18.

Our commitment is for new and additional funding to the aid program. Since the 2013 election, the Abbott-Turnbull government has drastically cut aid funding and created a great deal of uncertainty for NGOs.

Australian NGOs are among the best in the world. They do outstanding work, particularly on policy development and implementation, sharing knowledge and expertise, and measuring and reporting on progress towards sustainable development.

A Shorten Labor Government will provide $10 million each year from our first Budget in 2017-18 to build partnerships, increase the effectiveness of Australian programs, and ensure we are getting the most from every single dollar spent on aid.

As part of this new program Labor will support planning, research, evaluation and greater collaboration across the sector – with funding available to NGOs, academia, government, and the philanthropic and private sector. This will mean that we will continue developing our aid evidence base, our measurement and reporting on aid effectiveness, and we will know just how well we are shaping up against our targets.

This funding will help us to share with the world the remarkable Australian expertise in areas like anti-corruption and good governance; disability inclusive aid; treating preventable blindness; WASH; and of course, efforts toward improving gender equality.

Labor will also restore accountability to the Australian aid program by reintroducing the annual Ministerial Budget statement or “Blue Book” on overseas aid. And we will legislate for transparency and accountability to improve aid effectiveness.

Thanks to decisions by the Abbott-Turnbull Government, Australia’s overseas aid program is the weakest it has ever been in our nation’s history. Labor is committed to rebuilding so that we can once again see Australia lead in international development.

Labor is committed to supporting Australia’s aid program, not gutting it.