Home - Claire Moore - Labor Senator for Queensland

MOTION: International Aid

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (17:42): I, and on behalf of Senator Rhiannon, move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) on 19 November 2014 the world observed the second official World Toilet Day, the annual observance of which is intended to raise awareness about the need for all human beings to have access to adequate sanitation and to promote the use and benefits of toilets,

(ii) despite progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 2.5 billion people do not have a basic toilet and 1 billion people continue to defecate in the open, and almost 2 000 children die every day from preventable diarrheal diseases,

(iii) sanitation is the most off track target of the MDGs and is unlikely to be met by the deadline of 2015,

(iv) inadequate sanitation makes poor countries even poorer, which, in turn, makes the global economy weaker - poor sanitation and water supply result in economic losses estimated at $260 billion annually in developing countries,

(v) it is unacceptable that girls and women have to risk sexual assault just to visit the bathroom, and it is also unacceptable that many girls are pushed out of school and forced to defecate in the open for lack of access to toilets,

(vi) funding for water and sanitation programs is one of the best ways to save lives and to help build stronger economies around the world - for every $1 invested in safe drinking water and sanitation, an estimated $4 is saved in work time, productivity and healthcare costs in poor countries, and

(vii) mere access to toilets will not itself result in safe drinking water and sanitation, as people must be sold on the benefits of using toilets, and the waste contained by them must not be released untreated into the environment;

(b) recognises:

(i) the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Jan Eliasson, for launching a new campaign earlier in 2014 to break the silence on open defecation, and to spur dialogue and action on the most lacking target of the MDGs, and

(ii) the renewed commitment from the non government organisation sector, including WaterAid and the Global Poverty Project, to see an end to open defecation; and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to support diplomatic efforts to:

(i) ensure That the proposed Sustainable Development Goals contains a separate goal on water and sanitation that encompasses a commitment to ensuring universal and sustainable access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in every home, every school and every medical facility,

(ii) end open defecation, and

(iii) reduce the amount of untreated faecal waste that gets released into the environment.

Question agreed to.