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Tsunami exhibition for Sydney’s Royal Easter Show.



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The Hon Bruce Billson MP Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Kerry Bartlett MP Federal Member for Macquarie Chief Government Whip

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Tsunami exhibition for Sydney’s Royal Easter Show

A major exhibition on Australia’s response to the 26 December 2004 tsunami disaster is now open at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bruce Billson, announced today.

“Australia has been at the forefront of international efforts to assist countries affected by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami,” Mr Billson said.

“Australians can be proud that as a country and individually we responded quickly and generously to this terrible natural disaster and that many Australians continue to help communities in need rebuild their lives.

“In addition to Australia’s immediate relief operations in the region, Australia is also providing $1 billion through the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) to assist with reconstruction and development, in Aceh and throughout Indonesia.

‘The AIPRD is Australia’s single largest aid initiative. It brings our total development cooperation commitment to Indonesia to $1.8 billion over the next five years.

“The first allocation of funding from the AIPRD was announced on 17 March, and will include assistance to renovate the Zainoel Abidin Hospital in Banda Aceh and rebuild the health workforce, provide essential education equipment and teacher training, and help restore essential government services to Indonesia’s Aceh province,” Mr Billson said.

The exhibition, mounted by AusAID and making its debut at the Royal Easter Show, will be officially opened by the Federal Member for Macquarie and Chief Government Whip, Kerry Bartlett, representing Mr Billson. It is a comprehensive presentation of the Australian Government’s speedy and generous response to the disaster.

“This exhibition is a tremendous initiative and I am sure it will attract a lot of visitors at this year’s Show,” Mr Bartlett said.

“I am sure all Show visitors who see it will come away with a better understanding of the scale of and impact of this tragedy and the Australian Government’s response.”

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The exhibition will be on display in Hall Two of the Home, Garden and Lifestyle Pavilion at the showground in Homebush Bay and the exhibition’s official launch will be performed by Kerry Bartlett MHR at 11 am on 24 March 2005.

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Media Contacts:

Thursday, 24 March 2005

Shane Fairlie (Mr Billson’s office) 0408 680 442 Stuart Bicknell (Mr Bartlett’s office) 0414 393 306 AusAID (Public Affairs) 0417 680 590

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