Children from Tony Abbott’s electorate urge him to keep foreign aid program on nation’s agenda

August 2013 - With just a few weeks to go until the federal election, children from a local Northern Beaches church in the Warringah electorate have today launched a video and song encouraging Mr Abbott to remember the global poor in his party’s political agenda, urging him to increase foreign aid spend to ensure that Australian keeps to its commitment of achieving the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDG) deadline of halving global poverty by 2015.

The video and song have been created by Seaforth Baptist Church in the run up to the Halve Poverty 2015 event it is organizing (halvepoverty.org.au) on Manly Beach, just one week out from the federal election. The event will involve thousands of people from the Warringah electorate and other Sydney-siders gathering on Manly Beach to form the giant words “Halve Poverty 2015”. The event, supported by the Movement to End Poverty petition, will encourage Mr. Abbott to increase Australia’s overseas aid giving to 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2020 - which equates to just 70 cents in every $100.

The event is part of the Micah Challenge Finish the Race campaign (micahchallenge.org.au/finish-the-race), whereby representatives from across all 150 electorates will be reaching out to show the various political parties that that they need to ensure that as a nation we don’t leave the job of halving global poverty unfinished by 2015.
Social Justice Pastor from Seaforth Baptist Church, Vikki Howorth says: “We want to ensure that the commitment to fighting global poverty is on the political agenda in the run up to the election. We want to show Mr Abbott that his electorate cares about the global poor and that we want Australia to be known for its commitment to justice for the world’s poorest people. We have the support of thousands of people from schools, churches, sports groups and community groups from across the Warringah electorate. The video and song is a way for us to give the children from our church a voice in the run up to this event.”

At the event, State Treasurer and liberal state member for Manly, Mike Baird, and Manly Mayor, Jean Hay will be presented with the Movement to End Poverty petition, which is signed by over 60,000 Australians across the country. The petition is a joint action of the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge collations for all Australians who believe we can end extreme poverty.

“Amazing progress has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals with two billion people having been lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990. But some goals are off track for being achieved by the 2015 deadline target date. By acting now we have a chance to possibly influence and shape the policies of the government that could lead us to the 2015 finish line,” concluded Ms Howorth.

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