Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 00:24 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 00:24 | SYDNEY

ANZAC aid: Joining our aid agencies


Fergus Hanson


20 August 2008 12:29

The Australian Senate has launched an inquiry into the economic and security challenges facing the Pacific, in which it has called for submissions. One of the areas the committee will be looking at will be how the Australian government can assist Pacific states meet the challenges they face. An idea I think would be worth looking at would be combining AusAID and NZAID, at least as far as their aid programs in the Pacific are concerned.

With our rapidly growing aid budget, administrative costs will also have to expand, but why continue to duplicate with NZAID — with whom we share near identical objectives in the Pacific? Sure, there will be minor policy differences here and there over time, but surely the benefits of pooling our Pacific aid would outweigh minor differences. Why not combine budgets, aid missions (which could still be staffed with personnel from both countries) and development strategies? In a speech discussed in an earlier post, Prime Minister Rudd said he has been urging closer coordination between Australia and New Zealand on regional policy since coming to office and the need for 'seamless coordination'. Combining our aid programs would be a good way of putting this into practice.