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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7106


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (12:04): by leave—The Australian government is concerned about the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The government has committed $8 million to the international response effort to date. In addition, the Australian government is providing $40 million to the World Health Organisation in 2014 and 2015 to support their global work. The Australian government has assessed that at this stage financial contribution is the best way Australia can make a rapid contribution to the global response and support in-country, frontline health services. We understand the natural wish of people to assist. However, as has been outlined by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia does not currently have the capacity to evacuate its nationals from the region at this time. It would be not responsible to send Australians to affected countries without being able to ensure their evacuation.

Question agreed to.