Labor’s Aid Announcement and What It Means For Us
A few weeks ago, we saw a huge win for Australian Aid - a commitment on behalf of the Labor Party to reverse the $224 million cuts to the aid budget. Our CEO Chris Wallace joined Tanya Plibersek and other aid and development organisations in this crucial first step to re-establishing a strong aid budget. Weeks later, we’re still celebrating. Here’s why:
Rebuilding the aid budget means rebuilding lives. Aid provides our closest geographical neighbours with the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty. It delivers important programs and funding to get more kids in school, get better access to drinking water, more immunisations, and improved national climate adaptability. Pacific island nations are the first to face the impacts of climate change, further exacerbating poverty and marginalisation within their communities.
This announcement also marks a change in Australian politics, where there’s now a pronounced difference between both major parties. It reveals that there’s still hope for Australian Aid - that we as a nation have not completely abandoned our valued generosity or our global commitments to curb poverty and climate change.
This recent win for Aid is driven by thousands of people across the country - young people everywhere have been getting out in communities having conversations, meeting politicians, signing petitions, and making plenty of noise online. This Aid win was made possible by thousands of people creating the political space for this announcement, and then demanding it happen. It’s a testament to the growing power of this movement, and it’s only going to get bigger.
These young people are taking it further to change the conversation surrounding Australian Aid. In June, hundreds of young people will be be gathering in marginal electorates across the country to have thousands of conversations about why Australia needs a strong Aid program.
Labor’s announcement was a huge win, but we can’t stop there. We will continue to stress how important Australian Aid is - not only to us as a matter of social justice, but to our geographical neighbours and the communities that benefit from the support of vital Aid programs.