We don’t know who the new government is – it may be a number of weeks before that becomes clear. At this stage, either the Coalition or the Australian Labor Party could form a government. We won’t know for sure until all the votes are counted and several seats are currently too close to call.
While we don’t know who will form Government, what we do know is this:
1) We put aid and ending poverty on the agenda this election
The three pre-election polls we commissioned showed that many people think the Government should be doing more to be a good global citizen, help end global poverty and increase aid. People polled also indicated that those issues influences their vote. Thousands signed pledges to vote for a fairer world, and over 3500 yard and street signs were displayed on private fences, churches, and shop windows. We had over 10,000 conversations with people on the phone or doorstep.
2) We have more aid allies in Parliament
Our grassroots volunteers spent 18 months working to increase knowledge of and support for aid with local MPs and candidates. Some MPs who were difficult to meet with or didn’t support aid have been replaced with people who did attend our forums, met with us and signed our pledges. In other cases, re-elected MPs’ support for aid has grown over the past 18 months thanks to your campaigning.
3) Crossbenchers who support increasing aid will be in a stronger position
Whoever forms government will likely need to negotiate and compromise with crossbenchers. And many of those crossbenchers (Nick Xenophon Team, Andrew Wilkie, Adam Bandt) are supporters of increasing aid. If it is the Australian Labor Party that forms Government, they have already promised to increase the aid budget by an additional $800 million over the next four years.
We’ll have a fresh chance to put pressure on Government to reverse the latest cuts to aid and call on our leaders to articulate a vision of Australia as a good global citizen in the world.
Next steps for the Campaign for Australian Aid
Over the next few months, we’ll be conducting a review of the campaign and discussing next steps. This has just been the beginning of creating a positive movement for change and we want to build on what we’ve achieved to take things to the next level. If you want to volunteer to take an active role, click here.
In the meantime we will be:
- Assessing who becomes Government and any immediate opportunities for action
- Meeting with newly elected MPs in Canberra to brief them on Australian aid
- Holding a comedy variety show in Melbourne on 22 September (and local events the following week) – we’ll let you know how to score exclusive Campaign supporter tickets soon!
- Working with Micah Australia on their Voices for Justice Conference
Once again, a massive thank you from me for all your work before and during the election campaign.
Tony and the Campaign for Australian Aid team