Leftist protests 'could harm poor'

One do-gooder sees reality

Protesters trying to stop this weekend's G20 meeting in Melbourne risk creating further disadvantage for impoverished nations, World Vision chief Tim Costello has warned. Speaking today on behalf of the Make Poverty History campaign, Mr Costello said his group welcomed the G20 summit as a way for poorer countries to meet with wealthier ones in an attempt to solve world poverty. "The poor would lose if you stop G20," said Mr Costello, brother of Federal Treasurer Peter Costello. "The truth is that part of what my brother and the G20 are on about does lift people out of poverty. "Trade and access to markets is actually what Africans and Asians want. Poor Africans and Asians want that too."

However, he said G20 needed to make aid a priority and a "failure of leadership" had allowed it to slip down the agenda. "The G20 often just focuses on markets when you've got to also have aid because how can you run markets when people are sick with HIV and dying from Malaria and don't even get access to school - 200 million kids don't go to school," he said.

Speaking as police strengthened barricades around the G20 conference, Mr Costello said the difference between his organisation and today's protesters was that the protesters were ideologically opposed to a market economy. "They say capitalism is the problem, we don't," Mr Costello said. "We say markets actually create wealth. In India and China they have actually lifted people out of poverty. "But markets can't do it alone, you need markets and aid, which is why I'm calling on Australia to stop being miserly ... and just get with the program." He said Australia needed to increase the amount of aid it provided.

Make Poverty History last night held a concert in Melbourne, at which U2 frontman Bono - a vocal anti-poverty campaigner - made a guest appearance. Mr Costello said the concert and the campaign had been effective in raising awareness about poverty and placing it on the social agenda.

Police have meantime closed off one of Melbourne's busiest city streets and set up double metal barricades at major intersections as protesters prepared to march en masse against the G20 summit. Security has been tightened and a large number of armed and mounted police officers are expected to set up a presence in the area during the day. Collins St has been closed between Spring St and Swanston St and Russell St between Little Collins St and Flinders St and trams rerouted along Lonsdale St.

Source

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Rev Tim Costello keep off your brother's 'turf'.How about encouraging your sibbling rather than 'nitpick'in such a banal and pathetic way.Peter Costello is doing a great job, So Rev Tim, you mind your Church business and let Peter get on with his.
    Envy is such an ugly emotion.

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