By Michael Harvey, Gerard, McManus and Mark Dunn
TOURING rock star and political activist Bono believes Australia will match other developed nations in lifting aid to poor nations.
The U2 frontman took his anti-poverty campaign direct to federal Treasurer Peter Costello yesterday -- securing the one-on-one meeting Prime Minister John Howard would not give.
While Bono wanted total aid spending lifted, Mr Costello stressed the importance of "aid effectiveness" -- making sure aid dollars were spent on those who needed them and not soaked up by corrupt local officials.
Both men emerged from the hour-long talks liking what they heard.
"He is a very genuine guy, he is a very charming man," Mr Costello said. "He is very sincere and it was just a very warm, positive discussion."
Bono said he enjoyed the meeting and that Australia would eventually reach the goal of committing 0.7 per cent of GDP to aid.
"This wave is breaking and it's going to happen. Australia will get to 0.7," Bono said.
"(Mr Costello) seemed to be personally very interested in the plight of the world's poor and determined to figure a way for his country to play a more committed role."
Mr Costello made no new pledge on the aid front but restated his commitment to lift aid to $4 billion a year.