'Reprioritising' Australia's aid budget

Parliament house flag post

'Reprioritising' Australia's aid budget

Posted 25/03/2013 by Ravi Tomar

In 17 December 2012, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that the government would report up to $375 million as support for asylum seekers waiting to have their claims heard in Australia. In effect this meant that $375.1 million would be diverted from the overall aid budget to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The reallocation represents an effective cut of 7.3 per cent to other elements of the aid budget. The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research also suffered cuts of 7.6 per cent to their respective aid budgets. Details of the revised Budget Estimate were released in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13 (pp.102–105).

The humanitarian and emergency response budget suffered a major cut of over $70 million and is now estimated to be $208.2 million. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund too was cut by $7 million, down to $9 million.

During the Additional Estimates hearing for AusAID held on 14 February 2013, AusAID’s Director General, Peter Baxter, stated that AusAID would be releasing ‘further details on the precise programs’ that would be affected (p.79). This information is now available. Outlined below are details of the impact of the revised budget on the programs of Australia’s regional neighbours, Indonesia, PNG and the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Details of the impact on other programs are available from AusAID.

The aid allocations for PNG, Nauru, Palau and Niue were excluded from reprioritisation.

Indonesia: reduced by $33.5 million to $540.1 million. Changes include:
  • deferral of payments for school construction grants from March 2013 to July 2013 ($23.1 million)
  • deferral of funding for new Women in Leadership program from 2012–13 to 2013–14 ($2.0 million) and
  • cut to funds yet to be committed to climate change projects ($8.4 million).
Pacific regional aid program: Reduced by $14.5 million to $128.7 million. Changes include:
  • deferral of opening of another Asia Pacific Technical College (APTC) and related costs ($5.7 million)
  • rescheduling of payments for activities under the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility ($7.9 million) including the Kiribati Roads Rehabilitation Project ($5.0 million) and
  • other regional program activities ($500 000).
Cook Islands: reduced by $310 000 to $4 million. This means the deferral of some activities under the cooperation program with New Zealand.
Federated States of Micronesia: reduced by $500 000 to $2.8 million, by deferring funding for a regional International Organisation for Migration (IOM) project into future years.
Fiji: reduced by $3.1 million to $53.8 million. Changes include:
  • deferral of 14 Australia Awards and 20 Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships ($1.0 million)
  • deferral of funding to infrastructure projects in the health and education sector and delays to school grants until 2013–14 ($1.1 million) and
  • deferral of funding for the Community Development Program until 2013–14 ($600 000) and reduction in funding for operational costs ($400 000).
Kiribati: reduced by $2.8 million to $26.9 million. This comprises deferral of payments to 2013–14 for the infrastructure components of:
  • the Technical and Vocational and Training Sector Strengthening Program ($1.25 million) and
  • the Kiribati Education Improvement Project ($1.55 million).
Marshall Islands: reduced by $200 000 to $4.2 million. This means deferral of funding to a regional IOM disaster risk reduction project into future financial years.
Samoa: reduced by $3.1 million to $43.5 million. This comprises deferral of payments to 2013–14 for:
  • a World Bank Trust Fund for a multi-donor health sector program ($2.65 million)
  • new activities in the law and justice program ($250 000) and
  • engagement of long term advisers in the governance sector ($200 000).
Following Cyclone Evan in December 2012, $2.25 million was reallocated to the Samoa program in January 2013 for emergency relief and recovery and a new activity to improve the lives of people with a disability. Consequently, the net overall reduction is $850 000.
Solomon Islands: reduced by $7.7 million to $81.8 million. This includes deferral of funding till 2013–14 for:
  • rural development program co-financed with the World Bank ($2.5 million)
  • the Skills Sub-Sector Education Program ($1.25 million) and Gender Initiative ($1.5 million)
  • Managing Urbanisation planning study in collaboration with the World Bank ($500 000) and
  • Design of the Civil Society Program ($200 000).
In addition, the budget for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was reduced by $2.4 million.
Tokelau: reduced by $415 000 to $185 000. The cut is in the funding to the Tokelau International Trust Fund.
Tonga: reduced by $2.5 million to $32.1 million. This includes:
  • deferral of payments for programs under the Tonga Transport Consolidation Project’s future financial years ($500 000) and
  • a cut to funds allocated but not yet committed for climate change adaptation projects ($2 million).
Tuvalu: reduced by $1.5 million to $9.8 million. This means the cargo handling and wharf safety component of a ‘ship to shore’ maritime project will now be funded by another donor.
Vanuatu: reduced by $13.7 million to $59.8 million. This includes:
  • deferral of first payment to the Port Vila Urban Development Project due to delays in its commencement ($8.7 million)
  • reduction of funding to the Vanuatu Australia Police Project following its suspension by the Vanuatu Government ($4.0 million) and
  • a cut to funds allocated but not yet committed for climate change adaption projects ($1.0 million).

Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print


Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice




refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament elections climate change social security women welfare reform taxation Indigenous Australians Australian Defence Force welfare policy school education higher education private health insurance health financing emissions trading Middle East Senate Australian Bureau of Statistics employment people trafficking Asia statistics illicit drugs gambling health reform federal election 2010 Australian Public Service income management Medicare disability Sport United Nations environment industrial relations constitution transport politics criminal law Afghanistan health forced labour food public service reform aged care aid Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget Carbon Pricing Mechanism dental health international relations governance regulation Fair Work Act voting law enforcement electoral reform OECD Australian Electoral Commission WADA child protection poker machines Australia in the Asian Century steroids National Disability Insurance Scheme detention 43rd Parliament slavery health system leadership domestic violence parliamentary procedure International Women's Day accountability defence capability multiculturalism ASADA Australian Federal Police labour force people smuggling debt New Zealand Australian Crime Commission pharmaceutical benefits scheme political parties coal seam gas Human rights crime China Census election results UK Parliament Papua New Guinea banking corruption pensions children's health Aviation federal election 2013 foreign debt gross debt net debt Senators and Members ALP Newstart Parenting Payment Youth Allowance sea farers United Kingdom energy food labelling Australian economy violence against women vocational education and training military history by-election High Court skilled migration mental health Federal Court terrorist groups science social media Higher Education Loan Program HECS federal state relations youth paid parental leave same sex relationships customs planning doping health risks Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery Special Rapporteur Northern Territory Emergency Response social policy ANZUS Rural and regional trade unions Foreign affairs election timetable Indigenous royal commission Productivity firearms public policy Population ADRV terrorism transparency research and development welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation carbon tax mining employer employee renewable energy regional unemployment fishing European Union family assistance United Nations Security Council forestry Drugs welfare systems Indonesia children Constitutional reform local government codes of conduct terrorist financing homelessness Parliamentary remuneration money laundering Trafficking in Persons Report social inclusion paternalism environmental law US presidential election nutrition ODA Defence sitting days electoral divisions Southeast Asia administrative law universities TAFE Ireland citizenship asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity standards NATO Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse World Trade Organization Australia public health housing affordability bulk billing water health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation public housing expertise climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets animal health middle class welfare constitutional recognition of local government referendum consumer laws PISA competition policy US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition citizen engagement policymaking Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol forced marriage alcohol entitlements ministries Hung Parliament social citizenship maritime Iran regional students school chaplains federal budget 2011-12 salary Medicare Locals primary care Building the Education Revolution Turkey Syria marine pollution sustainability prisons police deaths in custody electoral margins electoral pendulum electoral redistribution redistribution NSW redistribution WA redistribution ACT electoral boundaries ASEAN Sustainable Development Goals Double dissolution Senators safety vehicles MYEFO Pathology tertiary education Taiwan Xi Ma meeting family violence government financial advisers financial planners Financial System Inquiry Murray Inquiry China; Economic policy; Southeast Asia; Africa housing Speaker; House of Representatives; Parliament High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Israel Palestine asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders prime ministers First speech defence budget submarines workers Somalia GDP world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission limitation period cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders live exports infant mortality honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC anti-dumping Rent Assistance obesity evidence law sacrament of confession international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements small business Breaker Morant regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Members suspension workplace health and safety marine reserves hearing Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing political education Social Inclusion Board early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits qantas counselling Korean peninsula Work Choices biosecurity hendra federalism federation preselection therapeutic goods Therapeutic Goods Administration plebiscites computer games pests suicide nuclear COAG Ministerial Councils floods ADHD stimulant medication advertising electricity extradition conscience votes poverty preventative health rural health coastal erosion Parliamentary Budget Office work-life balance

Show all
Show less
Back to top