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  • Increased official development assistance (ODA) for Manus Province

    Posted 30/04/2015 by Ravi Tomar

    Australia’s planned development assistance for Manus Province under the Partnership for Development (2012–15) was expected to be approximately $15 million. However, according to a recent update released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 20 March 2015 (Economic and Development Benefits to PNG of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement), Australia is now providing additional assistance of about $38 million, despite a shrinking overall aid budget.


    TAGS: aid, Papua New Guinea

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  • Australian aid to PNG: a new paradigm?

    Posted 23/05/2014 by Ravi Tomar
    While most commentary on Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for 2014–15 has focussed on the overall outlay, what has largely been overlooked have been the allocations for the two largest recipients of Australian aid—Indonesia and PNG. Read more...

    TAGS: aid, Papua New Guinea

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  • The Coalition’s PPL scheme: budget drain or revenue raiser?

    Posted 29/04/2014 by Luke Buckmaster
    One of the most controversial features of the Coalition Government’s proposed Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme is its significantly greater cost compared with the current scheme. The more generous proposed scheme is expected to cost $5.7 billion per year when up and running in 2016-17, while the current scheme will cost $2 billion in that year. Media reports suggest that this has led some Coalition members of parliament to urge the Prime Minister to either abandon or ‘scale down&rsqu... Read more...

    TAGS: paid parental leave, federal budget

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  • Syria: losing ground in the fight to eradicate polio

    Posted 15/04/2014 by Wendy Bruere
    Polio resurfaced in Syria late last year, and has now been found in Iraq as well, leading to concerns that this could reverse gains in international efforts to eradicate the virus. A side effect of the conflict in Syria, now running for over three years, is that for many children vaccinations have lapsed.  According to the BBC‘Vaccination rates in Syria fell from 91 per cent of children before the war to an estimated 68 per cent in 2012. But those are national figures. In rebel-held... Read more...

    TAGS: United Nations, children's health, aid, Middle East, refugees

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  • Impact of drought in the Middle East

    Posted 28/03/2014 by Wendy Bruere
    According to a Reuters report from 7 March, United Nations (UN) agencies and water and agricultural authorities are preparing to declare a drought in the Middle East. Aside from the immediate impact of drought on crops, water scarcity is already a problem in parts of the Middle East, and some of the most affected countries are already struggling to absorb hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Read more...

    TAGS: Middle East, foreign aid, United Nations

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  • Uncertain future: Australian aid to Afghanistan

    Posted 16/12/2013 by Ravi Tomar
    Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Afghanistan has increased substantially over the past few years from $82.1 million in 2009–10 to a peak of $198.4 million in 2011–12. Afghanistan was the fourth largest recipient of Australian ODA in 2012–13 (after Indonesia, PNG and the Solomons) with an expected expenditure of about $182.8 million. This includes ODA-eligible expenditure by other government departments, including Immigration and Citizenship ($6.9 million), Defence ($9.2 mill... Read more...

    TAGS: Afghanistan, aid

    Comments (0)
  • Removing employer responsibility for Paid Parental Leave

    Posted 25/11/2013 by Luke Buckmaster
    New Abbott Government legislation will remove the requirement for employers to make payments to employees under the national Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme from 1 March 2014. Instead, employees would be paid directly by the Department of Human Services, unless the employer chooses to make the payments.The Government's reason for making the change is to 'ease administrative burdens on business'. Currently, in most cases, the Commonwealth Government funds employers to provide instalments of PPL ... Read more...

    TAGS: paid parental leave

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  • Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RSA) and Australian aid to Papua New Guinea

    Posted 26/07/2013 by Ravi Tomar
    Debate over the recent RSA agreement between Australia and PNG has resulted in the potential implications for Australia’s bilateral aid program being largely misinterpreted.On 15 July 2013, during Prime Minister Rudd’s visit to PNG, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said:Today the Prime Minister and I agreed to moving forward many of the programs that we have agreed to so that we can start implementing many of those initiatives that we have initially signed as part of the ongoing programs that we hav... Read more...

    TAGS: aid, Papua New Guinea, refugees

    Comments (1)
  • OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review: Australia 2013

    Posted 20/05/2013 by Ravi Tomar
    On 6 May 2013, the Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review: Australia 2013. The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD carries out peer reviews of member countries’ aid programs approximately every four years. Australia’s last review was undertaken in 2008.The current Review notes that since the 2008 Review, ‘AusAID has gone through the biggest change in its ... Read more...

    TAGS: aid, OECD

    Comments (0)
  • Paid Parental Leave: Robin Hood or piggy bank?

    Posted 10/05/2013 by Luke Buckmaster
    While there are numerous differences between the Labor and Coalition policies on parental leave pay, the most controversial is the rate of payment. While the current Government scheme is paid at the National Minimum Wage ($606.50 per week), the Coalition proposal is for parents to be paid at their full salary capped at an income level of $150,000.The difference between the two approaches highlights the complicated relationship present in both schemes between the idea of Parental Leave Pay as a w... Read more...

    TAGS: paid parental leave, welfare policy, welfare systems

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