Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • The biggest aid cut in Australia's history

    Posted by Ben

    16 December, 2014

    With due deference to the terror and tragedy of unfolding events in Sydney's Martin Place yesterday, the Government delayed by a few hours the release of its mid-year budget update. However, when the Treasurer finally announced his plans, it was terrible news for Australia's aid program. On top of the $7.6 billion already ripped out of Australian aid since coming to office, the Government is planning to cut a further $3.7 billion from aid over the next four years. Despite the fact that aid represents just over 1% of the Federal Government's budget, cuts to aid represent more than a quarter of all the budget cuts this Government has made in the 15 months since coming to office. These cuts will take Australian aid to their lowest recorded levels and include the largest single-year cut to aid in Australian history – $1 billion or 20% taken out of the budget from this year to next. At a time when Australia's economy is growing, when our debt is 6th lowest among all developed countries, these cuts will plunge our contribution to global… read more

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  • Politics, protest and prayer

    Posted by Ben

    16 December, 2014

    In light of the Government's aid cuts announced yesterday, I want to step back and consider the politics and process for a moment. If you're like me, you may well feel demoralised and defeated. For years we have been highlighting the significance of Australia's aid program, the good it achieves in our region and beyond, and the fact that Australia has made commitments to the world's poor in the Millennium Development Goals and in solemn pledges to increase aid. Yet again and again we see Australian Governments (both Labor and Coalition) turning to the aid program to find a disproportionate share of budget cuts and savings, damaging the effectiveness of our aid and harming some of the world's poorest people. We have protested these delays, diversions and cuts time and time again – regardless of which side of politics was in office at the time. We protested Gillard's delays, diversions and broken promises. We have spoken out against Abbott's cuts and broken promises. Yet every cut seems to be followed by something even worse. Why?… read more

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  • Voices (and Feet!) For Justice

    Posted by Cherry

    2 September, 2014

    It’s been several months now since the incredible event that is Voices for Justice. As a first-timer I could barely contain my excitement – wrapping my head around tax dodging, seeing Christians come together from all around Australia, walking into Parliament House, meeting politicians and sharing with them our passion, as followers of Jesus, for seeing poverty eradicated. It was a totally invigorating experience where I felt like I was putting my faith into real action. I left with an amazing sense of excitement as I realized that hey! We really can use our voices. We can be a part of shaping a better future for the world’s poor. I am already looking forward to going next year. But what now? Will we just wait in the meantime, or will we continue to take action? I am happy to say that Seaforth Baptist Church, the community I am grateful to be a part of, has been inspired to continue taking action within our local community. This year we are celebrating the tenth year of hosting the Manly Manado Walk, a beautiful 10km sponsored walk from the… read more

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  • Low blow, Joe!

    Posted by Ben

    13 May, 2014

    Somewhere deep inside, I still think that promises made to the poorest people in the world should be honoured. In my mind, I even imagine that I live in a country where others hold that view, or where governments live up to that ideal. I may be suffering from delusion here, but surely I'm not the only one. The Government is certainly doing its best to disabuse me of these quaint notions. The Prime Minister and Treasurer announced just hours before the 2013 election that they would not cut aid, merely slow its rate of growth. In the 2014–15 budget, however, we discover that there will be a further $3.1 billion in cuts. That means aid is now being cut by $7.6 billion over five years. Aid's tiny 1.3% of the Federal Budget is providing a whopping 20% of the Government's savings measures. So please remember that the people who are really doing the "heavy lifting" for tonight's budget cuts are poor and vulnerable people in our region and world. The Government announced at the time of the 2013 election that the aid budget would be… read more

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