There have been renewed calls for the cutting of foreign aid to Indonesia. Australians opposed to the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are outraged to learn that part of our aid goes towards supporting the Indonesian legal system.

In 2013/14 Australia donated a cool $581 million to Indonesia. This was expected to increase to $605.3 million in the 2014/15 budget; but the government isn’t now so certain.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently refused to exclude the possibility of cutting back on aid donations to Indonesia. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has been looking desperately for ways to fill the gaping budget black hole – perhaps this is the answer?

However, there will be no official announcements until the budget is delivered I early May.

Indonesia spends the half billion dollars it receives from Australia on education, health, infrastructure, social and rural development programs and (in the wake of the tsunami) disaster risk reduction.

However, between 2011 and 2015 $55 million were siphoned off to fund programs within the Indonesian justice system.

The funds, according to the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice, were being used to “increase access to justice for marginalised groups … and to combat corruption.”

Department of Foreign affairs and trade (DFAT) said that, “With Australian support, Indonesian courts are taking less time to deliver judgement and are making written reasons for their decisions available for free to the public online.

“Australia has also helped Indonesia establish its first national legal aid system, under which poor individuals are accessing free legal advice and representation to help them resolve a range of criminal and civil disputes.”

The growing number of calls for cuts to Australia’s aid to Indonesia is likely to find willing ears in Canberra: Politicians can at once be seen to be doing the will of the people, fill a gaping hole in the current budget, and send a strong message to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has called on the government to shift its foreign aid budget from Indonesia to disaster-ravaged Nepal.

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