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Urgent action needed on Burma's humanitarian crisis

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to do everything it can to help the 20,000 Burmese refugees being forced back into Burma by the Thai Government.

"Australia is considering boosting the aid it sends to the Thai-Burma border where thousands of people are seeking refuge. We should bring forward this aid funding now to partner organisations in the area, rather than waiting for the emergency to get any worse," said Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

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Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

AusAID
Monday 18 October 2010

Senator LUDLAM-I might provide a couple more questions to you on notice but as the clock is running down I just want to briefly change the subject very quickly and ask you about the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is something that Australia is a supporter of. Can you tell us what funds AusAID has allocated to supporting this initiative, if any, and who receives such funds?

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climate change and overseas development aid

Senator LUDLAM-I put a couple of questions to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency late last week around fast start funding in Australian overseas development assistance. It seems to be an open question at the moment as to whether Australian contributions to international funding for climate  mitigation and adaptation initiatives will be on top of our aid budget or whether they will be eating into our 0.5 per cent target. The department referred me to AusAID, so I am hoping you can help me out.

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AUSAID on Africa

Senator LUDLAM-Mr Baxter, yesterday I put a couple of questions to the department and they referred me to you.

Mr P Baxter-How nice!

Senator LUDLAM-They relate to a recent inquiry into Africa conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Are you aware of that work?

Mr P Baxter-Yes, Senator.

Senator LUDLAM-Great. Submission No. 50 to that inquiry was made by the Australia-Africa Minding Industry Group. Is that a group that you are aware of?

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So that was estimates

So that was estimates.

One of the few advantages of being new to this job is appreciating it's strangeness with fresh eyes. Three times a year, while the Senate is in recess, an intriguing and largely overlooked ritual takes place in the airy committee rooms of Parliament House in Canberra. Senior public servants, heads of departments and a highly qualified army of advisers and minders converge for five days of cross-examination in front of the Senate's eight standing committees.

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Greens ‘New Century’ Australia Senate Agenda

The Australian Greens today outlined their vision for Australia in the new century ahead of the opening of the Balance-of-Power Senate.

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said a record 1.17 million people voted Greens at the last election, and the five Greens Senators were ready to work constructively with all parties to respond to the challenges of the new century.

"Pollution, poverty, discrimination and the destruction of Australia's forests and precious environments are the legacy of the last century and decades of greed and inaction."

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