11 May 2007

Australian opposition calls for more aid to Pacific

1:08 pm on 11 May 2007

Australia's shadow minister for International development assistance Bob McMullan says the government should be giving more aid to the Pacific.

Australia's annual aid budget for the South Pacific has been increased from 638 million US dollars this financial year to around 726 million dollars in the coming financial year.

Mr McMullan says he's glad to see the government has started to implement an increase in the aid budget because the aid budget had fallen dramatically since it came into office.

He says the decline in the aid is one of the reasons Australia is not getting the best out of its aid investments.

"There have been two problems, one is that we're not spending enough and the level of aid is falling disastrously and then second has been that we haven't been getting enough value for money either for Australia or for the people we are purporting to assist. We are starting to repair the terrible gap in the amount of money we are providing."

Bob McMullan says he looks forward to seeing the next aid budget increased further.