New Minister for International Development

Oxfam Australia are pleased with the announcement that West Australian MP Melissa Parke has been chosen as the new Government Minister for International Development. With the country investing more and more money into overseas aid, this position is of particular importance to Oxfam as they try to help people living in poverty.

Ms Parke already has a great working relationship with Oxfam from her time as a backbencher, so the charity is pleased to see her passion for international development been rewarded with this esteemed position.

One of her first tasks will be to ensure the government re-establishes the bipartisan agreement. This will allow the overseas aid budget to rise to 0.5 per cent of national income, which if reached by 2016, will show a real commitment from the government to tackle global hunger.

Chief Executive for Oxfam Australia, Dr Helen Szoke, said –

Oxfam has long called for a dedicated minister for aid and development, to oversee the growth in Australia’s aid program, and to ensure every dollar spent has the maximum impact on reducing poverty. As a former lawyer with the United Nations and a committed humanitarian, Ms Parke brings considerable knowledge of global development issues to this role. We look forward to working cooperatively with Ms Parke as Minister for International Development to ensure Australia’s overseas aid and development program is helping people out of poverty.

The previous Foreign Minister Bob Carr will still continue to work alongside Oxfam Australia on many key issues, and thanked him for all the sterling service he has provided during his time in the job. During his time he oversaw Australia’s $5.6 billion overseas aid program to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Here’s wishing Melissa Parke a warm welcome into her new position, and every success in carrying on the amazing work that Bob Carr carried out with such distinction.

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