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compare this to other beloved Australian agencies: the amount of

fraud losses that have been identified by good old CentreLink is 4.5

times greater than that of AusAid, and for the revered, praised and

internationally acclaimed Medicare system, losses could be up to 35

times greater. Clearly, those who argue against foreign aid for fear of

‘corruption’ haven’t done their research.

Let’s touch on the global perception of Abbot’s decision. Relations

with our two nearest nations, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are

still bruised after the antics over asylum seekers during the election.

The last thing we need is for Tony Abbott to reinforce the message

the international cooperation barely makes an appearance on our

priority list. The Coalition’s decision reinforces growing perceptions

throughout the Asia-Pacific region and, unfortunately, beyond that,

Australia is a spoilt and selfish nation that appears indifferent to our

moral obligation to the poor. Abbott could learn from Britain’s

Prime Minister, David Cameron, who increased Britain’s foreign aid

budget from 0.56% to 0.7% of gross national income.

Now, let’s be honest, it’s no secret that Britain has been hit hard

with financial problems, but in response to criticism that Britain

should be solving its own economic problems first, before those of

the rest of the world, Cameron declares: ‘When people are dying, we

don’t believe in finding excuses’. I hope your large ears caught that

one, Tony, because that right there, is the generosity and sense of

moral obligation that Australia is so desperately lacking.

For now, our little Australian cruise ship is doing pleasingly.

Construction work on our 37th floor is going well, and it gives us a

great view of all the little rafts struggling by in the cold, torrid water

below. But for how long? Australia’s ‘isolationist policy’ might buy us

some new roads, but certainly no new friends. It’s safe to say, that in

our time of need, we’ll be out there in the water alone.

Cuts To

Foreign Aid?

What’s Going

On, Australia?