Decision Maker

Bill Shorten

  • Shadow Minister for the NDIS and Government Services

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Petitioning Bill Shorten, Scott Morrison, Sussan Ley

Ban the Ivory Trade in Australia

As a wildlife photographer, I've had intimate encounters with African elephants and have known all too well the story behind some of the pictures I've taken. Thirty-five thousand elephants are poached every year for the ivory trade. With less than 415,000 elephants left, if this rate of killing continues, it’s expected that they will disappear from our planet within a generation. The two largest ivory markets in the world, U.S. and China, have within the last couple of years banned their trades in a bid to save the African elephant from extinction. Hong Kong, the third largest market, is set to do so by 2021; the U.K. have also recently enacted a domestic trade ban. They’re all clear signs of the political will to protect elephants from extinction, and some of these bans are the best moves that the world could have hoped for. In Australia, however, an unregulated ivory market in Australia continues to thrive, which contributes to the mass poaching in Africa to satisfy the demand for ivory in Asia. Elephants are being lost at a rate of 8% per year due mostly to poaching. We need to end Australia’s trade- especially as it is contributes to the illegal wildlife trade- and implement a ban on domestic markets urgently, as per the recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement. Australia needs to act promptly on implementing a ban of the domestic ivory and horn market so that we can protect the elephant and ensure they will live on- and send a message to the world that we simply cannot let elephants head towards extinction on our watch.

Bee Elle
273,814 supporters
Petitioning Bill Shorten, Scott Morrison, Christian Porter

The Family Law System gave convicted sex offender access to my little girl– now she’s dead

My teenage daughter committed suicide after the Family Law System allowed her father, a convicted child sex offender, access to her when she was just a child. The Family Court System failed my little girl. And they failed me, a protective mother, who in my attempt to protect my children from contact with their abusive father, faced being dismissed as a ‘hysterical woman’ and a ‘vindictive wife’.   How can this happen? The legal system, designed to protect vulnerable children, is instead allowing them access to convicted sex offenders and exposing them to further assaults. The family law policy of wanting kids to have a “meaningful relationship with both parents” drove the decision making that would eventually lead to the death of my darling girl. I can’t describe the pain of losing her - it’s been 3 years since she died. She was just 17 and such a loving and caring daughter and friend. It makes me physically sick to imagine what she went through. In 2002, Abbey's father was charged with the sexual assault of her 8-year-old best friend and sent to jail for a pathetic two years. The abuse occurred at regular sleepovers.    I’m desperate to fight for children and parents who’ve been grossly let down by the dysfunction of the Family Court System. The Court restricts children from doctor and counselling visits during legal proceedings, discounts their word against a parent's, views reports of sexual assault as vindictive and favours the most financially stable parent. It’s shameful and dangerous. My darling daughter had her whole life ahead of her, but by adding your name to this petition, we can bring about change for other kids. I am supporting Bravehearts call for a Royal Commission into the Family Law System of Australia to examine their damaging failings in protecting our children. It follows a report by Bravehearts which  highlights the failings of the Family Law System. It’s called Abbey’s Project. This will be Abbey’s legacy.

Gill _
127,889 supporters
Petitioning Josh Frydenberg - Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, Bill Shorten, Chris Bowen - Shadow Treasurer

Save the Mortgage Broking Industry!

We are calling on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to ignore the recommendation made by the Banking Royal Commission to change Mortgage Broker remuneration.  We also call upon the Opposition Leader and Shadow Treasurer to pledge that they will ignore this recommendation, should they win government. Owning a home is the great Australian dream that has become increasingly out of reach for many Australians in the past decade. The proposed changes to the mortgage broking industry, recommended this week by the Royal Commission, will place that dream even further out of reach for many people. We ask both the government and opposition to thoroughly consider the implications of enacting the recommendations made regarding the mortgage broking industry, and ensure that the outcome is fair to the average Australian. We support keeping mortgage broking free to consumers, and we support the ‘paid-the-same’ commission model employed by most brokerages that has ensured impartial decision making for almost 30 years. We completely reject the assertion by Commissioner Hayne and Matt Comyn, CBA CEO, that trailing commission is “money for nothing”. Mortgage Brokers are available 24/7 to answer clients questions, undertake loan variations, provide support and education, review their loans and make sure they aren’t getting ripped off by the banks by negotiating better rates on their behalf, as well as many other services.  This is what they receive trailing commission for, and we stress actually provides for better customer outcomes.  Without Mortgage Brokers being constantly being in contact with clients, banks use ‘rate creep’ to gouge more and more interest from clients due to new and bigger discounts becoming available to NEW clients, while existing clients effectively pay more. We strongly believe that customers will end up paying more. Home buyers will be penalised in one of two ways: either they will be unable to afford the proposed fee-for-service structure, resulting in a reduced ability to access the funding that is right for them; or, those that can afford the proposed fee-for-service structure will be forced to absorb significant costs that the banking sector were previously responsible for. Removing the commission structure that is paid by banks to mortgage brokers is estimated to put billions of dollars back into the Big 4 Banks, while implementing a fee-for-service structure transfers the responsibility of those costs to aspiring property buyers already making the most expensive purchase of their life. The Royal Commission uncovered misconduct and even criminal activity at some of the highest levels of Australian banking, and yet mortgage brokers and their customers are the key group likely to suffer significant penalties in the wake of the report.  Smaller banks without a large branch network who currently rely on brokers to introduce customers will also suffer a significant loss of marketshare. The Big 4 banks, meanwhile, have had some of their best days on the share market since the report was made publicly available. Mortgage Brokers are mostly small business owners who potentially could lose their businesses and their staff could lose their jobs. In almost three decades, the mortgage broking industry has brought competition to the Australian finance market, and today more than half of all home loans in Australia originate with a mortgage broker. If you're part of that statistic, or if you just value choice and competition in the finance sector, please pledge your support for this petition to ensure it is noticed by our Federal Government. Update:  Over 50,000 have signed this petition - that's potentially 50,000 votes for any party or Senator who supports us.

Rob McFadden
103,424 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP, Bill Shorten, Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull, Catherine King, Julie Bishop, Tanya Plibersek, Janet Rice

Axe The TamponTax #BloodyOutrage

There’s no womb in society for a tampon tax. Did you know there is a GST on Tampons AND they are called a ‘luxury’?  I don’t know about you, but they don’t seem like a luxury to me. Condoms, lubricant, incontinence pads or sunscreen on the other hand are GST free. What’s with that?  It’s a bloody outrage. Putting a tax on products women need as a direct consequence of their biology is fundamentally sexist.It’s a stain on our national image. Half the population of Australia -- approximately 10 million women -- will pay tax on these products for the greater part of their lifetime. Costing us about $1000 for buying an essential health product. The Tampon Tax is ridiculous. Period. Luckily, women of childbearing age - those of us who need tampons - will be key voters in the upcoming election. So they'll need to listen if they want to woo us for our votes!It’s a bleeding disgrace. As Australians, as voters, as women, we request that the Federal Government the Opposition end this inherently sexist and unfair unfair tax. This tax is really cramping my style. Tampons belong on the GST free health products list - they're not a luxury. They're a necessity. Can you help me out by sharing the petition on Twitter and Facebook -- with all your friends and everyone else? Let's pull the plug on the Tampon Tax! #BloodyOutrage

Sophie Liley
73,785 supporters
Petitioning Bill Shorten, Senator Richard Di Natale, Bill Shorten, Richard Di Natale

I know what it's like to be young and homeless. Young people need affordable housing

My name is Hayley and I’ve been in and out of homelessness since I was 14 years old.    I know people often wonder about how people become homeless, or how they stay homeless for such a long time. I’m here to tell you a bit about my story. When you’ve had such fractured relationships since childhood, it’s hard not to allow those relationships to negatively affect you as a person. Coming from really volatile environments, you get used to being treated badly and being manipulated. I had no idea what a healthy relationship looked like for the first 20 years of my life. I had never had a healthy relationship with anybody, especially myself. I walked around with a chip on my shoulder, I can admit that. So much shit had happened to me and I was sour. I acted out because there was so much going on inside of me. Once you get a house and start to seem settled, you’re never settled. When you are able to actually stop being hypervigilant after dealing with a lot of trauma, that’s honestly when you start feeling everything and that’s the point where I think people need the most support. That’s the point where you can crash. At first being in my own home was overwhelming, because it all hits you that you’re an adult and you have to take responsibility. The main thing that motivated me to move forwards in my life was thinking, “I’m not going to let what happened to me ruin the rest of my life.” That was my driver. I am not going to be scared because of my past. I’ve had a lot of support from my social worker and I’ve needed it. I want people to see people for who they are, not their stereotype. I want you to know who I am now. Proper housing means getting on with your life. We need more housing that’s affordable for people in my situation. A home gives you hope, stability, a sense of self and the chance to straighten up your life without having to move all the time. I want our government to commit to more public and community housing in Australia. Please help by signing my petition. Young people who become homeless really need housing they can afford, but also ongoing support so they can stay housed.

Hayley Van Summeren
62,148 supporters
Petitioning Stuart Roberts, Scott Morrison, Stuart Robert, Bill Shorten, Anthony Albanese

Stop NDIS from rolling out "Independent Assessments" of people with disabilities

My name is Sue and this is William, my son who relies on the NDIS to live an ordinary life in our community. As a mum and someone who has worked in the disability sector for years, I’m baffled by the government’s new announcement to standardise assessments of people with disabilities. This move puts our most vulnerable more at risk. I’m calling on Stuart Robert, Minister for Social Services and the NDIS, to stop this from being rolled out. The NDIA is introducing independent assessors to replace the input of health professionals when applying for the NDIS and for yearly reviews and any life changing events. Now, someone paid by the NDIA will “assess” the applicant’s disability in 1- 4 hours and use standard assessments to decide the funding they need. This is madness. Is this a conflict of interest? Where has choice and control gone? It takes years to build trust with one’s health provider. The close understanding this relationship helps foster cannot be replaced. I know from personal and professional experience, that everyday is different for people with disabilities and mental health issues. It is nearly impossible for anyone to understand every aspect of someone’s condition in under 4 hours! Trials were conducted in NSW but was only done on 513 persons. I was informed this was done in an area where it was hard to get allied health providers. No wonder it was successful. How can results from a trial with just 513 people be applied to 400,000 diverse people with disabilities across Australia?The new assessment will focus on capability, instead of disability. This goes against the principles of what the NDIS was meant to be. We all fought for years for a better system. Although not perfect, it is better than the old system we had before. In an attempt to standardise the NDIS, the government is mechanising this process, at the cost of adequate care. The outcomes of each assessment has far reaching, real impacts for people. We cannot have a one-size-fits-all policy. Please sign this petition to tell the Government that this is a backward step. Let’s unite together and stop this new policy from being implemented.  No need to donate any money we just want your support. We know people are struggling 

Sue Grier
51,888 supporters
Petitioning Scott Morrison, Bill Shorten, Senator Richard Di Natale

Stop protecting hate speech: Australia needs a Parliamentary Code of Conduct

Australians have recently witnessed abhorrent behaviour from a number of Parliamentarians. We have seen politicians inciting violence and hatred. We have also seen examples of divisive, bigoted rhetoric. We have had enough. If our elected representatives will not act with dignity, we will create a Code of Conduct and hold them to account.  Lately, we have seen the standards of Parliamentary behaviour disintegrate as political debate has become toxic, and dangerous. The recent statement by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the terrorist act in Christchurch on immigration is only one example: Senator Barry O’Sullivan made racist remarks around “biosecurity” against the Chinese community, while Senator Pauline Hanson has described Muslims as a “virus to be vaccinated." Who could forget when Senator Hanson turned up to the Senate in a burqa, a harmful stunt that only sought to stoke division and hatred.   We have already seen the real-world implications of this behaviour in violent attacks and frenzied media coverage of racial and cultural minorities.  That is why we are calling on the Australian Government to develop and establish a Parliamentary Code of conduct that includes race ethics.  The following are the specific demands for inclusion as part of the code of conduct.  All parliamentarians and their staff to stop using Parliamentary resources and privileges to incite hatred against any sector of Australian society. This applies equally within Parliament and any other public forum. All parliamentarians recognise the value and contribution of the First Peoples of Australia; the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. All parliamentarians respect Australians' diversity of colour, national or ethnic origin, culture or religious belief. All parliamentarians recognise the value and contribution of culturally and linguistically diverse, and new and emerging communities. All parliamentarians reject discriminatory, divisive or exclusionary statements. This means any statements that are not consistent with the values of social inclusion, tolerance, and respect for all persons, regardless of colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, culture and religious belief. All parliamentarians uphold values of social inclusion, tolerance, and respect for all persons, regardless of colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, culture and religious belief. If our elected representatives do not abide by this Code of Conduct, they would be censured, disciplined, and held to account by the Australian people.  We want to live in a harmonious society where embracing differences underpin our relations. We expect our politicians to act as good role models and stand against those spreading hate and division. We need a Code of Conduct to ensure our elected representatives are held to account.  Please, if you agree - sign and share this petition. Thank you.  Mohammad Helmy, on behalf of the Islamic Council of Victoria

Mohammad Helmy
51,338 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten, David Littleproud, ACCC

Your help is needed to drive fair milk pricing profits back to Aussie dairy farmers

The dairy industry has hit crisis point as a result of soaring operational costs, crippling drought and ongoing challenges to achieve fair milk prices. The retail giants are profiting from milk production to the detriment of dairy farmers, leaving many farmers struggling to feed their stock and keep their farms profitable. Imagine the stress, knowing that the majority of the profit you work so hard and tirelessly is not going back into your business. The economy as a whole suffers when our farms and farmers suffer. Relentless cost-cutting by some of the big supermarket chains will wipe-out the Australian dairy industry unless we do something. If things continue, traditional dairy farms will disappear. The economy of milk production, especially on medium to smaller farms has become unsustainable as this cost-cutting continues to have negative impacts. Did You Know? The number of Australian dairy farms has fallen by almost three quarters since 1979/80 from 21,994 to 5,789 in mid-2017. You can see the impact of unfair farmgate pricing and continually rising operating costs has had on Australian Dairy. Dairy farming is Australia’s 3rd largest rural industry, which generates $3.7b in farmgate production with only a fraction of this going to farmers. In Australia approximately 42,000 people are employed in the Dairy Industry It's up to us to do something if we want to enjoy fresh milk in our fridges! We need to campaign hard against retailers dictating the price of milk. This is difficult and your support, by signing this petition will assist in getting our farmers' voices heard and make Australian dairy farms viable and sustainable for generations to come.  We want to tirelessly lobby consumers, processors, retailers and government to gain recognition for the Australian life blood of the land, our Aussie farmers.  Click Here to Read a heart felt story from a Dairy Farmer's Daughter Click Here to listen to the Alan Jones Interview of a Struggling 4th generation Dairy Farming family in the NSW Southern Highlands. Please sign and share this petition so we can achieve maximum exposure, awareness and the opportunity to drive a change.

Help Save Aussie Dairy Famers
43,619 supporters
Ban the Ivory Trade in Australia

Dear signers, Like you, I signed up to the petition to end the ivory trade in Australia. And I’ve got some good news for you. On the weekend, I announced that if Labor wins the federal election next month, we will ban the trade of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn in Australia. To be honest, I didn’t know too much about this issue until late last year. My Labor colleague, Senator Lisa Singh from Tasmania, was holding a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s domestic ivory trade, and taught me a lot about it. Elephant and rhino populations in Africa and Asia are continuing to decline and elephants and rhinos continue to be targeted for their ivory and horn. In fact, in the six months during which Lisa’s inquiry took place last year, 10,000 elephants were killed across the African continent, and in South Africa alone, approximately 528 rhinos were killed. I was shocked to learn that Australia’s domestic market is unregulated, and there’s nothing to stop people buying and selling products containing ivory and rhino horn if they manage to get them into the country. While the poaching of elephants and rhinos might not be a direct issue in Australia, the trade of products containing ivory and rhino horn certainly is. That makes us part of the problem. This has to change, and I’m determined to change it. As we’ve been working on our policy in the last few months, I’ve watched this petition grow to incredible numbers. I’m pleased so many of us want this practice to end, and I’m pleased Labor is going to do something about it. This a complex area, and it will require us to work with state and territory governments to fix their legislation too. But put simply, there are two things we will do to put an end to this. 1. Develop model legislation to be adopted across the country that makes the trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn illegal. 2. Introduce penalties and new offences for people and companies who try to get around the ban. This will end the trade in Australia, but it will also help the international efforts to save these iconic species for future generations, before it is too late. Thanks for caring about this issue and signing up to support and end to the ivory trade. I know it’s sometimes hard to know what you’re doing is really making a difference. But I want you to know that we’re paying attention, and you have made a difference. Bill P.S – shout-out to Bee Elle for starting this petition and getting 233,000 other people to join her!

3 years ago
Stop MPs wasting taxpayers money on personal expenses - Federal corruption watchdog NOW!

Gday Graeme, and the 82,000 Australians who have signed your petition calling for an federal ICAC. Graeme, you start your petition by saying “I am so so sick of it.” You talk about former Health Minister Susan Ley’s trips to the gold coast, and Julie Bishop’s expenses for polo matches. Well, I’m sick of it too. To have Government Ministers misusing public funds is appalling, especially while they’re demanding families cop cuts to medicare, school funding, and family payments. I hear you, and I write to say that today, Labor is taking action. I’ve just returned from the Parliament chamber, where I introduced a Private Member’s Bill and spoke about Labor’s plan for reform. You call for a Federal ICAC. Labor has moved to establish a senate inquiry to take a look at exactly that. My speech here lays out our plan: Keep in touch on Facebook so I can keep you updated on our progress. One question you might have is “why start with a committee?” Why not just introduce an ICAC right now? Well, we want to make sure this is done right. We want to look at how the state ICACs are running, what lessons we can learn from them, and whether it’s better to introduce a new body or change existing laws. It’s important to get this right, and a committee inquiry is the parliamentary process to do that. The Senate inquiry Labor has moved to establish will accept public submissions. Your advocacy is important to that process, and I’ll let you know on Facebook when that’s open. Keep up the good work. Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition.

6 years ago
Keep pap smears and pathology services free!

Thank you for making your voice heard on this important issue. A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Malcolm Turnbull's cuts to bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging, to make sure all Australians have access to affordable and universal healthcare. Pathology and diagnostic imaging are integral parts of our health system. The Liberals' $650m cuts will mean new out-of-pocket costs for x-rays, blood tests, pap smears. These are the scans for vulnerable Australians: $100 for a mammogram; $300 in diagnosis costs for a woman fighting breast cancer; over $1000 for an Aussie dealing with melanoma. Labor will oppose Mr Turnbull’s cuts to Medicare which will reduce bulk billing and make pap smears, CAT scans, Xrays and medicines cost​ more. Mr Turnbull's cut came in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the former Labor Government’s incentives are achieving their aim of maintaining or increasing bulk billing. In diagnostic imaging, for example, bulk billing rates rose 10 points in just six years thanks to Labor's measure. Labor's measure gives pathologists and radiologists a specific incentive to bulk bill. Without it, bulk billing will fall, co-payments will rise, and the cost of tests and scans will go up. I'm worried some patients will end up skipping them altogether. This would mean worse health outcomes for patients and higher costs to our health system. It is vital that patients are not turned away from care because of their ability to pay. A Labor Government will reverse them, so vote Labor on July 2 to protect Medicare. Thank you, Bill Shorten MP

6 years ago