Foreign Aid-funded terrorism investigation welcome

Following reports today in the Daily Telegraph that taxpayers’ money is being funnelled to an extremist terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a full audit.

Senator Abetz, a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, previously pursued the funding of these terror links in 2011. News reports today confirm that more than $21 million of taxpayers’ money has been given to Union Aid Abroad, some of which has then flowed to MA’AN Development Centre – a centre that has employed and funded Gaza strip terrorists.

“Australia’s foreign aid must not, under any circumstances, be used to fund or support terrorism and the fact that taxpayers’ money has been funnelled to terrorists is deeply alarming,” Senator Abetz said.

“The fact that Union Aid Abroad has issued media releases calling Mr Al Adine, a globally recognised terrorist, a ‘colleague’ within a ‘partner organisation’ on his death last month shows that the organisation knew exactly what they were doing.”

“Union Aid Abroad must provide a full and comprehensive statement detailing how they have spent taxpayers’ money and what, if any, due diligence they did before handing over money to fuel foreign terrorism against a nation state that Australia considers an ally.”

“The Minister’s announcement of a full audit is very welcome and I am pleased that Minister Bishop has moved so quickly to examine this matter. It is concerning that officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs have not kept a close enough eye on these issues over an extended period.”

“All foreign aid to Union Aid Abroad should be suspended until the full audit is completed,” Senator Abetz concluded.

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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Contact

136 Davey Street
Hobart  TAS  7001

(03) 6224 3707

Senator.Abetz@aph.gov.au

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