19 Jun 2014

Greens says aid plans put Australia first

8:10 pm on 19 June 2014

The Australian Greens say the Abbott Government's revamped aid plans hark back to the discredited aid policies of the 1980s with Australian companies set to profit at the expense of impoverished communities in the Asia Pacific region.

Spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon says 'aid for trade' and massive spending on large scale infrastructure projects represents a far reaching realignment of the aid programme towards Australia's interests.

She says most of the nations that receive Australian aid do not have a strong private sector.

"If you look at most low income countries they don't have large companies that can tender for projects to build big road projects or bridge projects. Clearly what we're seeing here is that the successful tenderers will more than likely come from Australia."

Senator Rhiannon says corporatised aid opens the door to increased corruption as aid money can be used to fast track projects particularly in the extractive industries.