Australian parliamentarians visit aid programs in Padang
13 September, 2012
Senator Ursula Stephens presents a ball to a student of a school rebuilt with Australian assistance. Photo: Clare Price / AusAID
The parliamentary delegation with a family in their earthquake-resistant house. Photo: Clare Price / AusAID
Alan Griffin hands over toys for the health clinic's waiting room. Photo: Clare Price / AusAID
Rowan Ramsay with water connection recipient, Zurtini. Photo: Clare Price / AusAID
Ursula Stephens meets a mother and baby at a health care centre. Photo: Clare Price / AusAID
An Australian parliamentary delegation welcomed the progress being made on the reconstruction of facilities devastated in a 2009 earthquake in Padang, Indonesia, during a recent tour of aid programs in the region.
Australia committed nearly $19 million towards emergency relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts in West Sumatra following the earthquake, which killed more than 1,100 people and damaged or destroyed more than 300,000 buildings.
The delegation, comprising Alan Griffin MP, Senator Richard Colbeck, Senator Ursula Stephens and Rowan Ramsey MP, visited a primary school built during the reconstruction in a program jointly funded by Australia and the USA.
Following the earthquake, students had to study in tents but now the school is a model school in the region, having received national accreditation, with student numbers increasing to 140 and 11 teachers completing university.
The delegation met a new-born baby at a local health care centre, which was reconstructed with AusAID funding and to earthquake safe specifications.
The mother of the baby said she was pleased with the facilities at the health care centre, which provides 24-hour care to approximately 26,000 people in the local area. AusAID also provided the health care centre with an ambulance.
‘It is clear the aid program is delivering real services that are very basic to the needs of the community,’ Mr Griffin said.
The delegation saw houses re-built or retrofitted to earthquake safe specifications, with local builders able to explain reconstruction methods learnt through training funded by AusAID.
‘Australia has a responsibility to be a good international citizen and our commitment to Indonesia’s development agenda demonstrates we acknowledge Indonesia’s challenges and hope to address these challenges with exemplar development processes,’ Senator Stephens said.
‘It’s in Australia’s interest to have a strong, prosperous, democratic and wealthy Indonesia; a country we can trade and do business with and rely on as a good partner. Aid money is working to ensure stability in the region and a strong relationship between our two countries,’ Mr Ramsey said.
Australia's work with Indonesia
Last Reviewed: 13 September, 2012