The Bad News from Australia

Hello and welcome to a very short NZADDs email update,

We have a proper post-aid forum update coming shortly but for now we wanted to share the bad news from Australia.

It has been in office only a matter of hours, but Australia’s new coalition government is already promising to be disastrous for aid.

In addition to their absolutely reckless decision to cut aid funding mid-financial year, the Coalition Government now seems to be about to emulate New Zealand’s mistakes and re-absorb AusAID into DFAT.

The Financial Review Newspaper has reported that:

“It is also understood the head of AusAID Peter Baxter has resigned, with the agency to be absorbed into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, mirroring a similar move by the Canadian government.

Assuming the reporting is right (and it likely is) this is simply astounding. As was the case in New Zealand, there is no plausible justification for the move, AusAID is a well-regarded and well-functioning aid agency, and there is absolutely nothing to suggest aid will be better delivered from inside DFAT. Indeed, the only plausible reason for the change is that the Coalition Government plans to divert more aid to advancing Australia’s strategic interests.

This is an incredible shame.