Twelve leaders from a spectrum of Christian denominations have written to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, urging the government to increase foreign assistance, and redefine foreign policy beyond a more narrow definition of self-interest. The signatories called on the government to take “concrete steps” to increase development assistance, moving towards the internationally agreed target of 0.7% of gross national income. As stated by one signatory, the main thrust of the submission argues “for a foreign policy that isn’t solely driven by a very narrow definition of the national interest but looks at the way we engage on climate change, looks at the way we engage on refugees and looks at the way we support our neighbours to become economically self-sufficient”.
Former Australian deputy prime minister, John Anderson AO, has been appointed Chair of the Crawford Fund. The Fund is an NGO that promotes the benefits of international agricultural research, commissions studies on policy and practice, and sets up training activities in developing countries. Anderson is himself a farmer and has been a member of the Fund’s Board since 2010. In Parliament, Minister Anderson was leader of the National Party of Australia, which traditionally represents graziers, farmers, and rural voters.