Tuesday, 27 October 2009
The following notices were given:
to present a Bill for an Act to make various amendments of the statute law of the Commonwealth, to repeal certain obsolete Acts, and for related purposes.
to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Bankruptcy Act 1966, and for related purposes.
That the House:
- notes that:
- the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to suffer from high levels of poverty, insecurity, and a culture of impunity, in which illegal armed groups and military forces continue to commit widespread human rights abuses;
- according to a study by the International Rescue Committee released in January 2008, conflict and related humanitarian crisis in the DRC have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 5,400,000 people since 1998 and continue to cause as many as 45,000 deaths each year;
- the mismanagement and illicit trade of extractive resources from the DRC support conflict between militias and armed domestic factions in neighbouring countries; and
- calls on the Government to promote peace and security in the eastern DRC by supporting efforts of the Government of the DRC and the international community to monitor and stop commercial activities involving natural resources that contribute to illegal armed groups and human rights violations.
That the House:
- applauds the Government’s increase of total health funding in the foreign aid budget and an increase in spending to maternal, newborn and child health, which is much needed when in our region, including South Asia, 200,000 mothers and 3.2 million children are dying every year from preventable causes;
- notes that:
- Australia still requires an increase in total health funding in the foreign aid budget to progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by 2015;
- Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and MDG 5 to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters have made the slowest progress of all MDGs and are off-track to being achieved by 2015;
- Millennium Development Goal 5 has made virtually no progress globally and has reversed in most of sub-Saharan Africa in the last 20 years—it is the only MDG not making progress of any significance;
- the health MDGs are achievable but require increased effort and greater cooperation from all developing and developed countries; and
- evidence indicates that successful proven, cost effective strategies exist that can reduce child deaths by at least 60 per cent and maternal deaths by 75 per cent, which would save the lives of 240,000 children and 26,000 mothers in our immediate region each year;
- acknowledges the importance of the Australian Government increasing its support for health systems in the Asia Pacific region and in Africa (though coordinated mechanisms including the International Health Partnership) to ensure that adequate, coordinated, long term and predictable donor resources are available to support effective basic and reproductive health plans and systems in each developing country in our region; and
- recognises that:
- greater focus must be placed on training health professionals and midwives to ensure significant reductions in newborn, child and maternal mortality;
- system strengthening must also be ensured to provide incentives for staff to be retained in countries and areas of need; and
- an increase in Australian support for maternal and child health related spending is required to support the provision of basic health services and strengthened health systems; and that this will demonstrate Australia’s leadership and commitment to ending the preventable deaths of children and mothers globally.
That the House:
- recognises that Wednesday 25 November 2009 is the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women, the symbol of which has become the White Ribbon;
- applauds the work done by the White Ribbon Foundation of Australia to raise awareness amongst all Australians of the fact that many women and their children live with violence, or the threat of violence every day of their lives;
- notes that approximately 350,000 women will experience some form of physical violence and 125,000 women will experience sexual violence each year;
- encourages all Australians to speak out against all forms of violence and when necessary take action against violence that may be occurring within their community;
- notes that violence against women costs the Australian people $13.6 billion annually;
- notes that the Rudd Government has squandered $16.6 billion on the Julia Gillard Memorial School Hall program while committing less than one third of a per cent of that amount ($55.2 million) to address this insidious problem; and
- condemns the Government for failing to commit any new money in response to the Time for Action Report while rebadging initiatives which were funded under the previous Coalition Government’s Women’s Safety Agenda.