Published in the National Times, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, December 19, 2012
Tim Costello, World Vision Australia chief executive and Jack de Groot, Caritas Australia chief executive
The federal government has dropped a bombshell on poor communities in developing countries, just in time for Christmas.
After delaying its promise on aid at the May budget, the government now plans to divert $375 million of Australia's much-needed aid budget to fund domestic refugee programs, making Australia the third largest recipient of Australian aid.
That's about 7 per cent of the budget diverted away from important development programs - programs that save lives and transform communities.
Labor may think this arrangement is in Australia's national interest. It's not. Australia's overseas development assistance is a key part of a small investment in our future security and prosperity.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr claims this diversion is not a cut to aid, and ...