Bill Gates urges Aussie pollies to spend more on foreign aid

BILLIONAIRE philanthropist and the world's richest man Bill Gates called on Australia to give more in foreign aid while in Canberra on Tuesday.

During a whirlwind day, Mr Gates met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, as well as giving an address to the National Press Club.

Mr Gates said it was important Australia meet its target of spending 0.5% of GDP on foreign aid, despite not having met the target in recent years.

However, he said the amount Australia did spend on foreign aid was a positive effort.

The philanthropist, who funds numerous aid programs in developing countries, also encouraged parents to vaccinate their children.

Asked about vaccination, he said vaccines were there to help people, and the "net benefit" of millions of vaccinations was strong.