- Leader of the Opposition
- Leader of the Opposition
A Royal Commission into the Veteran suicide rate in Australia
This is my much-loved son, David. David loved his 20-year career in the Royal Australian Navy. On February 1 this year, my David took his own life after a crippling battle with Post-Traumatic Stress injury. He desperately wanted to stay alive, but David was failed by a broken system that is seeing more than one veteran a week take their own life. More than one death a week. That’s why I am calling for an urgent Royal Commission into veteran suicide rates. This petition is about the systemic failures the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), who had numerous opportunities to save my son and they failed. David was just one of too many veterans losing their battle with PTSD. This failure has created a whole new warzone for our veterans, one they can’t come home from. The people at ADF and DVA want to help, but their hands are tied by protocols and procedures. They are bogged down in paperwork and do nothing for the well-being of those that seek their help. Since WWI, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and families and friends have been asking for a Royal Commission into the systemic failures that result in the suicide of our veterans. I don't want to be the mother that fights for a Royal Commission and I don't want to be the mother that has lost her child, but in their own words: my hands are tied. I will not stop until we see action by our Government. I owe it not only to my amazing son, David but to all veterans and their families. This is a national tragedy, and something needs to be done about it. I call on the Australian Government to establish a Royal Commission with wide terms of reference to examine and make recommendations regarding the Australian Veteran suicide rate and what can be done in practical terms to address this tragic situation. If you agree that this is a national crisis that needs to end - please, sign and share this petition. Julie-Ann Finney, proud mother of Dave Stafford Finney. If you or someone you know needs help, please phone Lifeline on 131 114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. This petition was originally started by Phil Essam.
Lift the australian age pension above the poverty line
There are hundreds of thousands of aged pensioners who barely survive each week on our meager pension which is below the poverty line. many of us eat only one meal a day, we turn of the hot water for 6 months a year so that we can survive. we can't afford a phone, never mind the Internet. Getting medical/ dental care is beyond our reach. those of us who have to rent pay over half our income to have shelter, leaving us almost destitute. We want an independent tribunal to set our pensions, as described in today's Press club address, with no political influence.
Remove Senator Hanson from the Family Law Inquiry
Senator Pauline Hanson is so fundamentally compromised, that she should immediately recuse herself or be removed from the inquiry. The dealings of her own son with the Family Court and DV orders, and her using them as motivation to push for an inquiry, mean that there is clear apprehended bias on her part. She has also put her bias on Parliamentary record, making demonstrably untrue claims under Parliamentary privilege. It should be noted that her son pleaded guilty to breaching a DV order. She has shown that she will be unable to participate in this inquiry in a fair or impartial manner. In any judicial or investigatory role, such a conflict of interest would be untenable. It is clear that Senator Hanson is too emotionally and personally invested in Family Court procedures and ought not have any role in a Family Court Inquiry. No-one knows why the Coalition and its One Nation allies are wanting to waste taxpayer money on yet another inquiry, while the sixty recommendations of previous high-level inquiries remain unaddressed. “The Australian Law Reform Commission report, Family Law for the Future: An Inquiry into the Family Law System, was tabled in Parliament today by the Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP. The ALRC has made 60 recommendations for reform.” The Coalition and Senator Hanson’s sexism and biases have brought them together to ignore the recommendations of the recent Inquiry. They have both failed to prioritise the implementation of the recommendations in the report and instead have opted to waste tax payer’s money trying to get the answers they want to hear, not the answers provided by the experts. Decisions made by government should always be evidenced based. Decisions to hold inquiries should never be based on conveniently anonymous, generalised anecdotes which is all Senator Hanson has proffered. Senator Hanson has provided no evidence to support her assertions. As a developed, progressive nation, we expect our politicians to be informed by data and research, not biases and prejudices. Senator Hanson’s appointment is a slap in the face to every woman who has struggled to:- protect children during a fraught divorce process;- have their experiences of rape, assault, violence and abuse believed, taken seriously or acted upon;- be paid appropriate child support, or have arrears pursued “Pauline Hanson’s family law inquiry will be a victim-blaming and shaming farce that vilifies single mums and domestic violence survivors. The Prime Minister must turf her now.” Sherele Moody.
Stop Scott Morrison from banning cash to trap Australians in banks!
Scott Morrison’s Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 is a fraudulent assault on the freedoms of Australians. Banning cash transactions over $10,000 will not end the tax evasion and money laundering of the “black economy”, but will strip individuals of their right to privacy in financial affairs, and trap them in private banks, unable to escape policies such as “bail-in” and negative interest rates. It is outrageous that this cash ban is a recommendation of one of the big four global accounting firms, KPMG, which wrote the 2017 Black Economy Taskforce report and is already lobbying for the limit to be reduced to $2,000. KPMG and its fellow big four firms are complicit in the overwhelming majority of tax evasion and money laundering, which is perpetrated by their clients in multinational banks and corporations, not by individuals using cash. If this cash ban is enacted, the government clearly intends more restrictions, as the law has been drafted so that the exemptions to the ban, such as for withdrawing cash from a bank, can be removed by the Minister at any time. The private banks already impose unreasonable restrictions on the ability of Australians to access their own cash. We the undersigned call on Parliament to: respect the right of Australians to use cash for privacy and as an alternative to the banks; scrap this bill and the cash ban policy; and crack down on the real black economy by going after multinational banks and corporations, the big four accounting firms, and the tax havens.
Save Captel captioned phones for hard of hearing
In October of this year the Morrison Government contracted the National Relay Service (NRS) (which Deaf and Hard of Hearing people with communication disabilities depend on for phone communication), to an overseas US provider Concentrix. To keep the costs at a capped $22 million Concentrix have confirmed that they will NOT be supporting the NRS to Captel Captioned phones which I and over 4000 hard of hearing Australians depend on.The Captioned Telephone, or CapTel, works like any other telephone with one important addition: it displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel phone users can listen to the caller, and can also read the written captions in the CapTel’s display window. I have a severe-profound hearing loss, I cannot hear on a normal phone without captioning, I do however have clear speech having grown up in the hearing world and becoming progressively deafened after my 20s. For the first time since losing my hearing the Captel Captioned Phone has allowed me to enjoy a normal phone conversation with independence, equality and dignity. I am not alone with this as 1 in 6 Australian people have some form of hearing loss. Hard of hearing phone users depend upon the CapTel Phone which uses the NRS service. Should it be cancelled, we will be put at a severe disadvantage, will lose independence, and, our ability to communicate with the outside world. We love the ease of it being just like a normal phone and love the familiar features enabling us to easily and quickly contact emergency services, social arrangements and to make doctors appointments, amongst many other things. From February 1st the government proposes to transition us to use captioned relay on alternative devices such as TTY, iPad or Computer however these devices are unfamiliar and complex for those who have grown up in the hearing world and not technology knowledgable. Without the captioning service our Captel phones will not even be amplified. The phone operates on low volume mode without the captioning therefore creating an additional deficit for Captel users. We see this decision as direct discrimination against our Hard of Hearing sector especially those born before the modern technology era. It is cruel, discriminatory and unjust to force users to transition backwards to the slower and more difficult methods to make a simple phone call all due to perceived " value for money ". We need the relevant politicians to please reconsider their decision and continue captioning of Captel Captioned Phones as a necessary right.
Don't Dam the Donnelly River - STOP the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme
The Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme has received commitments from State and Federal governments for $60 million to fund the development of an unnecessary and environmentally destructive dam and irrigation pipeline system in the South West of Western Australia - its effectively another Murray Darling Basin. The Scheme is a proposal to: build a concrete weir on the Donnelly River in West Manjimup construct a 15 gigalitre (that’s 15,000,000,000 litres) storage dam, which will require the destruction of 160 hectares of forest, with associated flora and fauna and disruption of users of the Bibbulmun track. Water will be pumped from the Donnelly weir to this storage dam. install power supply towers, pumping stations and 253 km of pipeline to redistribute 9 gigalitres of water per year to between 60 and 70 users in Manjimup-Pemberton region. do all of this with a massive tax-payer subsidy of $60,000,000. (That’s 6 taxpayer dollars for every $1 contributed by the proposed users of this water.) deprive smaller agricultural and horticultural producers in West Manjimup of access to water for larger-scale farming activities in the same area. These smaller farmers are all self-supply producers who use water with minimal environmental impact, and at no cost to the taxpayer. While this scheme purports to increase the availability of food production land in the region, in fact all it would achieve is the relocation of food production. The river will be dammed for a pipeline which benefits just a handful of wealthy farmers in one area, while depriving other food producers in the Donnelly catchment of the right to build their own dams – all at the cost of $60,000,000 of taxpayer funds and irreparable environmental damage. Food producers in West-Manjimup supply their own water through dams they have built on their land as part of crop planning. In an area of high rainfall, with significant further food production capacity within the catchment, there is absolutely no need for a dam on a river, or a pipeline that will cause irreparable environmental destruction. This scheme is neither economically, nor environmentally justifiable. We want to STOP the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme. We want politicians and the tax-paying public know that the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme is NOT supported by the majority of people in the region. Please help us by signing this petition and letting politicians know we don’t want another Murray Darling Basin.
Australia will not support a US led war in Iran
Australia should not participate in any United States led military action against Iran. Not only would a military action against Iran be costly, redirecting funds from our vital services, infrastructure and communities here in Australia, it will undoubtedly claim the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen - all for a war that will not make us safer and paint us as a target for stateless terror threats. Current tensions are the direct result of provocations from the Trump administration, whose claims of a nuclear threat from Iran are baseless and run contrary to the routine audits of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who have found Iran compliant with the conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka The Iran Nuclear Deal) . The deal (also signed by China, France, Germany & the EU) has been violated by the United States, who have implemented strangling economic sanctions on the nation and ignored recommendations from the United Nations International Court of Justice to cease . Meanwhile, Iran and Australia have a significant two-way trading relationship, worth $A584 million in the last financial year. False narratives have baited Australia into disastrous, illegal wars such as Vietnam and Iraq in the past. Without an authorising resolution from the United Nations Security Council, any military action against Iran would also be illegal, and orders of magnitude more destructive. This petition demands that our representatives discuss the rising tensions between Iran and the United States in parliament, developing a strategy for de-escalation, and implores that we learn from our past mistakes in blindly supporting the US/Australian alliance at any cost.  https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/19/06/gov2019-21.pdf https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1MD2CP-OCATP Further reading:https://www.michaelwest.com.au/paul-barratt-australia-should-not-participate-in-conflict-with-iran/
Save the Alexandra Canal Cycleway
What is the Alexandra Canal cycleway? The Alexandra Canal cycleway is a calm, safe and protected shared path cycleway that connects Tempe and the southern suburbs, to Sydney's CBD and eastern suburbs. It is a much-loved facility, frequently used by many local Sydney Airport staff and commuters to get to work every day, as well as recreational users of all ages. What is happening to the Alexandra Canal cycleway? Video: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/alexandra-canal-cycleway-set-to-close-20190222-5bw8t.html The State Government (RMS) Sydney Gateway motorway project was designed to connect the Airport terminals to the Sydney Ports, and will require the space to the north of Sydney Airport. Due to Sydney Airport airspace height restrictions, the project plans to remove the existing shared cycling and walking connection along the Alexandra Canal adjacent to Airport Drive. Amongst the many known benefits of active travel, decreasing congestion is important, as the City of Sydney writes in 'Growing Sydney’s congestion-busting bike network'. A protected, separated cycling network is important to reduce and minimise disruption to motor traffic, improve safety for all and free up space for truck freight movements. There is some provision for the replacement and installation of equivalent cycling and walking infrastructure as part of these road projects. However, from history, we know when projects run over budget, walking and cycling facilities are often the first to be removed from the plans. It is also important that safe access is provided for the community during the construction period. What do we want? The surrounding cycling and walking advocacy groups have joined together and agreed on 3 important asks for people cycling in the community: A cycling and walking route along Alexandra Canal from Tempe Reserve to Coward St (equivalent to the existing facility, if not improved) during and after construction. A cycling and walking route linking the Alexandra Canal pathway with the Sydney Airport Domestic Terminal and Bayside Council’s proposed Eastern cycling network (Wentworth Ave, Mill Pond greenway, Foreshore Drive). A bicycle route linking the Alexandra Canal pathway to Sydenham Station and to Sydney Park. Who is responsible? Asks 1-3: We call upon our state representatives to urge the State Government (RMS) to support and provide these important, vital active travel connections for our community. Ask 2: We call upon our federal representatives to urge the Federal Government to assist Sydney Airport Corporation Limited - SACL in negotiating and providing the land to assist the State Government in achieving these connections. What action is required? In addition to signing and sharing this petition, we urge all supporters to write letters to their state and federal representatives (and upcoming election candidates), outlining these 3 asks, and expressing what this cycling and walking facility means to you. Who is behind this campaign? BIKEast Bike Marrickville The Orbital ArtCycle Sydney Green Ring Bikes Botany Bay St George Bicycle Users Group Bicycle NSW BIKESydney Georges River Active Transport (GRAT) Sutherland Shire Environment Centre WalkSydney
Make our roads safer for all Australians through mandatory testing of elderly drivers
On the 24th October 2016, our 22 year old son Dann Robert Jenkins was killed by an elderly driver who pulled out in from of Dann's motorcycle. His only excuse "I didn't see him". The driver and passenger of the car immediately behind the elderly driver saw Dann coming, but had no way of stopping the elderly driver from turning straight in front of Dann. This man who shouldn't be behind the wheel of a vehicle, aged 87 at the time of the accident received a 9 nine month suspended sentence for killing our son. Documents submitted in court referred to his remorse and sorrow for our loss, but, as the offender left the court, his lawyer was submitting an appeal against the sentence - he wants his licence back so he can drive himself to the doctor. He killed our son on his way home from the local shop after getting the milk and the paper. His life goes on, with his family - ours is destroyed. If my 22 year old son Dann had killed an 87 year old driver, the likelihood is he would have spent the next 5 to 10 years in jail. Is age now an excuse for murder? My hope is to have changes to drivers licencing laws passed in each State and Territory to stop anyone else from having to endure the same pain my family and Dann's friends have had to go through, and still do on a daily basis. These changes to the licencing laws are becoming more important as our population is aging, people are living longer and the number of elderly drivers on our roads is forever increasing. National statistics show that drivers over the age of 75 have a higher risk (per distance travelled) of causing and being involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in fatality than any other age group per capita. The aging population in Australia means that every year more and more Australians are entering this category, currently there are over 3 million Australians aged over 75, 90% of whom have a full driver’s licence and this number is increasing yearly. In Australia there is no appropriate eyesight test and no tests for dementia, physical capacity, reaction and response times when testing for licensing renewals. This petition is to change the licensing laws in Australia to introduce the following changes for annual licence renewals; To have mandatory driver testing annually from the age of 75 years. A simulator driver test with an emergency event in the test to show reaction and response time. To show that the elderly driver can get their foot from the accelerator to the brakes Eyesight test performed by a qualified optometrist A test for dementia to be included in the 'fit to drive' certificate Currently medical and eyesight tests are performed by doctors, these tests are simplistic and usually signed off by a family doctor who has built a relationship with his patients. If a doctor refuses a 'pass' to a patient, there is nothing to stop them 'doctor shopping' to find one that will pass their medical. The eyesight test should be performed by an optometrist, and results forwarded directly to the relevant state licencing authority. The results from these tests will be accurate, effective and reliable, unlike current so-called medical certificates issued by doctors. The installation of a driver testing simulator at licencing facilities, the relatively small cost outlay to install and maintain these would be far offset by the cost saving in emergency care and reduction in the road toll. These can be regularly upgraded and different scenarios programmed into them so drivers cannot learn (or be told) where or when the emergency will be. These can also be used for training students and other drivers new to the road, giving them an idea and training on what to expect when they take a practical driving test. A fit to drive certificate to be issued by a relevant state transport department approved doctor (not the drivers family doctor) - this certificate to include a dementia test and to be in-line with the testing recommendations in "Assessing Fitness to Drive 2016 (as amended up to August 2017)" issued by Austroads. An information kit "Assessing Fitness to Drive" is also available from the Austroads website. (www.austroads.com.au) More information available at www.tih2ho.wixsite.com/dann
New Australian Government: End Offshore Detention of Refugees on Nauru and Manus Island
“We care about refugees because of the seed of fear that lurks in all of us that can be stated so simply as: it could be me”- Arthur Helton 2002 Refugees are defined as 'a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.' Past governments, both Labor and Liberal have failed to terminate cruel detainment policies. We as the Australian public must now entrust that the newly formed Coalition may finally desist offshore detention and uphold our claim of 'boundless plains to share'. There are currently 915 people; men and women forcibly imprisoned on Nauru and PNG after attempting to seek asylum from disastrous situations. 915 people too many. My heart also breaks for the thousands of refugees illegally turned away by the Australian Government, through third state policy and containment agenda. Australia is signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and is currently defying its international obligations through mandatory detention. 85% of the world's 68.5 million refugees are housed in developing nations who are deprived of the resources needed to adequately sustain such large numbers. Australia's current 13 500 refugee cap is ranked by the UNHCR as 25th, aiding a mere 0.002% of the total population, a minuscule amount of what we as a nation are truly capable of performing. The Liberal party also prides itself on economic management and statistical growth. So, here are the numbers: The estimated cost of offshore detention is $573 000 per person, which has effectively been reported as torture by the ABC. This money contributes to nothing other than pain. Mainland resettlement is estimated to be a mere $10,221 per person, which is eventually paid off by taxation and productivity. Furthermore resettlement is extremely beneficial; it reduces our current ageing population crisis and boosts the economy through employment. Re-opening and then closing Christmas Island has been budgeted at $185.2 million over two years, with approximately 140 security staff and 14 health care workers on the island although not one person had been transferred as of 6 April 2019. Dear Coalition, these are not good numbers. Please, I urge you to end the suffering of vulnerable innocents as the United States cruelly and illegally also closes its borders. Do not let this be a stain on a nation's history of aid, as seen during the conclusion of the Second World War and Eastern European Conflicts. The excuses of terrorism and potential security risks will be tolerated no longer. Refugees are the most vetted people in the world and not a single case of terrorism has been caused by any genuine refugees. Innocent people in search of safety pose no threat to us or our livelihoods. Do not close your eyes to them, they are not to be blamed for the fault of their leaders or circumstances. Just as we cannot be blamed for being born in Australia.