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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3251

Senator LUDWIG (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) (4:00 PM) —by leave—The Australian government does not support this motion. The government will deliver on its election promise to boost Australia’s commitment to official development assistance funding to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015-16. We retain the 0.7 per cent ratio as an aspirational goal. The government is taking a measured approach to scaling up the aid program, ensuring at every stage we are positioned to deliver assistance in a way that is balanced, effective and in the national interest.

On the issue of fast-start financing, Australia will contribute its fair share of the collective fast-start financing commitment made in Copenhagen in December 2009. This is part of our continuing commitment to supporting developing countries, particularly the smallest and most vulnerable, in their efforts to respond to climate change. We have previously outlined Australia’s total fast-start contribution of $599 million over the period 2010 to 2012. The government’s 2010-11 budget boosted Australia’s contribution to climate financing by $355 million across the fast-start period. This builds on the $244 million in existing funding. For Australia, as for all other major donors, official development assistance will be the source of almost all climate change financing for developing countries during the fast-start period. The new budget measures which provide additional financing in 2011-12 and 2012-13 draw funds from a growing aid program and do not involve diversion of funds from other development priorities.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Ludlam’s) be agreed to.