5 Responses

  1. Nik Soni
    Nik Soni August 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Love the title – if you stretch Kevin’s face along the vertical axis he would look a bit like Abbott.

    From the Pacific perspective the Liberals have been making more assuring noises about re-focussing aid priorities to Australia’s nearest region. But then again folk have been promising that and not delivering for some time. To re-engage the endlessly dull PACER Plus debate would be a shame but it seems neither side has the imagination or will to think creatively about trade.

  2. Angus Barnes
    Angus Barnes August 22, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for the comprehensive overview Robin.

    I think a crucial question is will the Minister for International Development be a member of Cabinet under the Coalition – have they made a commitment to this? Should the Coalition be elected, the Cabinet discussions around budgets (‘waste’), restructuring and implementation of stated policy will be fierce ahead of the Coalition’s first budget which one would expect to be fairly harsh – how would International Development fair without a seat at the table?

    For example the Coalition has stated the Minister with responsibility for small business will be in Cabinet under the Department of Treasury. One of the stated small business policies is that all Departments will use “tender procedures and procurement processes that do disadvantage small business participation and instead actively encourage it”. What are the implications for aid delivery and growth in aid in light of this?

    One more question, have you seen (or discussed with the ABC) the results from the “Vote Compass” foreign aid question?

    1. Robin Davies
      Robin Davies August 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      The Coalition hasn’t said the aid minister would be in Cabinet. Most likely they would do as Labor has done, appointing a minister within the foreign affairs and trade portfolio but locating them in the outer ministry. By the way, the Coalition has now indicated they would also appoint a separate minister for trade (currently one of Julie Bishop’s hats), which is unsurprising. The trade minister would presumably be in Cabinet, with the foreign minister, which makes it all the less likely that an aid minister would be. Not to mention that the small business minister will be occupying one of those scarce chairs!

      On your other two questions, I doubt there’s anything about the way aid procurement is done that would be regarded as disadvantageous to small business, but I can’t be sure. And no, we haven’t seen any analysis of the Vote Compass results in relation to foreign aid but we’re on the case.

  3. Iggy
    Iggy August 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

    The detailed paper is all very well, but why doesn’t this summary cover the Greens as a viable choice for people concerned about foreign aid? The detailed paper mentions Greens policies such as the “safer pathways” proposal and criticism of fake aid such as mining industry support. At least a paragraph or two on Greens policies would be appropriate in this article. This is unfair and hobbled election commentary as it stands.

    1. Robin Davies
      Robin Davies August 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

      The main purpose of the policy brief, and the above blog post, is to compare and contrast the policies of the two parties that are viable in this basic sense: one of them is likely to be able to form a government and control the aid program. However, as you note, the brief covers the Greens’ policies in some detail and also makes the point that, unlike the two major parties, the Greens have sought to articulate a clear aid and development policy framework for the coming term, and deserve credit for that. The brief also notes that the Greens ‘will have a critical role to play in the next parliament in ensuring effective scrutiny of the aid program and also ensuring that it does not easily fall prey to commercial or other sectional interests’.

Leave a Reply