Stephen Smith said the people of Burma could not be left to suffer
Australia is to increase humanitarian aid to Burma to help the country to be ready for political change, Australia's foreign minister has said.
Stephen Smith said Burma could not be allowed to decay "to the ultimate disadvantage of its people".
He said the increase was in line with US policy, which calls for engagement with Burma as well as sanctions.
But Mr Smith said the pledge was not to reward Burma's generals for their plans to hold elections later this year.
"Burma's capacity cannot be allowed to completely atrophy to the ultimate disadvantage and cost of its people," said Mr Smith, in a statement to parliament.
"The international community needs to start the rebuilding now."
The humanitarian aid will increase from A$30m ($26m; £16.7m) this financial year to around A$50m next year, a rise of some 40%.
Mr Smith said the increase was "not a reward for Burma's military, but a recognition of the immense task faced by current and future generations of Burmese".
Ms Suu Kyi is not expected to released before the elections
He said Australia had "long been appalled both by the Burmese military suppression of the democratic aspirations of the Burmese people and by its disrespect for their human rights".
"Until we see significant change from Burma's authorities, Australia will maintain a policy of targeted financial sanctions."
Australia imposes travel restrictions on senior Burmese military figures and has had a ban on defence exports to the country since pro-democracy protests were crushed in 1988.
Last year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that sanctions alone had not succeeded in bringing political change to Burma and that the White House was seeking to engage with the generals.
Burma's government is planning elections for later this year.
They will be the first since 1990, when the military refused to recognise the landslide victory of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).
Pro-democracy leader and NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest and is not expected to be released in time to take part.