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Friday 7 January 2005

Official: Aussie Aid Money to be Monitored

The Australian federal government would monitor how its historic $1-billion aid package to tsunami-wracked Indonesia was spent, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Bruce Billson, said today, according to The Australian. He said half the money Australia pledged would be made available as grants for infrastructure immediately. The other half would be delivered in concessional loans with a 40-year expiry and no requirement to begin repayment for 10 years.

"We'll be wanting to know where the funds are being directed," Mr Billson told ABC Radio today. "The taxpayers of Australia will want to be assured that it's going to the projects that it's been earmarked for and other donors will be similarly looking for guarantees and transparency."

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