Decision Maker

Bill Shorten

  • Leader of the Opposition

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Petitioning Health Minister Sussan Ley

Keep pap smears and pathology services free!

To Health Minister Sussan Ley, We demand pap smears and pathology services remain free of charge. It is disgusting that your government is cutting bulk billing incentives for pap smears, MRI's, urine/blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds. According to the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia president Michael Harrison, the cuts will force patients to pay at least $30 for a pap smear, urine or blood test. The Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association claims people could pay up to $173 for an MRI scan. These cuts are unfair to the average Australian, but will especially hurt women. Free and accessible pathology tests are key to ensuring early detection of cervical cancer, STI's, UTI's and pregnancy. Late detection will lead to MORE cost to the taxpayer in the long run. These essential services are a backbone of our world class healthcare system. This is yet another attack by a Liberal government on Australia's already cash-starved Medicare system. Sussan Ley, stop trying to distance yourself from the inevitable outcome - by your cutting subsidies for practitioners and pathology companies, they’re forced to charge a fee to make up for the loss, which will fall unfairly on patients across the country. We won't stand for it. We demand the Liberal government scrap this policy and ensure that pap smears and pathology services remain free. Come along to a rally in your city on 20th February. Check specific Facebook event for details:Sydney event: event: event: event: event: event: event: Sources:

Brigitte G
221,623 supporters
Petitioning Nick Xenophon

Stop payments for non-currently serving Politicians

You and I are not paid for jobs that we no longer carry out, make this the same for ALL Australians.  Stop ALL entitlements, payments, allowances, including travel allowances for politicians who are no longer currently serving the Australian public. The only way to change things is to make it happen for ourselves, this is something the politicians will NOT make happen, we have to insist on this happening.

Michelle Pedersen
216,135 supporters
Petitioning The Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Leader of The Opposition, The Hon. Clive Palmer, MHR, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten

Malcolm Turnbull: we lost our son to suicide while serving in the ADF – please change service contracts so next-of-kin can be notified of self-harm, suicide attempts

On the 22nd February 2012 we lost our son to suicide. No note was left. Stuart was 27 years old and a serving member of the Royal Australian Navy.  After his funeral, we visited his base – and left devastated to find out he'd tried to kill himself before. His shipmates told us that a year earlier while on missile practice in Hawaii he'd been found below deck with a noose around his neck searching for a place to tie off. Immediately I proposed an additional clause in the ADF contract of service that would give waiver to the Privacy Act in circumstances where self-harm is evident, and next of kin would be notified immediately.  Every civilian employer, as well as medical and mental health professionals accept this procedure. It seems like basic "Duty of Care". Tragically, the ADF hasn't acted.  Since our loss of Stuart – 2 of his shipmates have also lost their lives by suicide and yet there's been no action. At the time I criticized the Minister for Defense for letting this happen on his watch after clearly explaining what must be done. The pain of losing Stuart like this is still devastating. All we want is to prevent this happening to other families – so they don't suffer the daily regret of not having the opportunity to be there for our sons and daughters when they most need us.  Mr Minister, implement this clause to protect our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers from this bureaucratic stupidity that is killing the cream of our country. After all, The Privacy Act was never meant to do harm.

Mark Addison
109,171 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull

An online predator murdered my 15yr old daughter - introduce Carly's Law now

My 15yr old daughter was the first child murdered by an online predator in Australia – after a paedophile spent 18 months grooming her. But it’s still not a crime for monsters like this to pretend to be a minor online in Australia. Carly's killer masqueraded as a teenage boy before luring her to a secluded beach - he bashed and suffocated her face, then threw her into the water to drown. I could barely listen when I was read the court reports. This predator had 200 fake online identities to groom teenage girls for sex. My daughter had such a big heart and a bright future. She was so robbed of her life. It's a disgrace that Senators voted against a law to fix this in the past. I’m sickened by our legal system’s failure to recognise this crime, as well as the appallingly weak sentencing for child sex offenders. I’m calling on Malcolm Turnbull & Bill Shorten to immediately commit to ‘Carly’s Law’ – a law that would make it illegal for adults to misrepresent their age to minors online for the purpose of grooming with the intent to meet that child.

Sonya Ryan
98,997 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten

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 _
90,206 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull

Ban Live Export.

I started this petition because I have seen a lot of evidence involving incredibly cruel acts  on livestock that leave Australian Soil.  If we do not speak up and take action these horrendous acts will continue. The latest pictures I have seen involve cows being hit numerous times on the head with a sledgehammer. I have seen video footage of cows and sheep having their throat cut without being sedated before the slaughter. The look in the eyes of these animals is heartbreaking and WE need to make sure there is NO live export and animals that are to be slaughtered are sedated prior to the kill. I'm not going to post videos or pictures, because believe me they are something NO one should ever have to see. So PLEASE sign this petition, I'm not asking a lot and it will take 3-5 minutes out of your life   THANK YOU.

Lisa Margetts
86,755 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten

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

I am so sick of it. Politicians are freely getting away with funding personal trips, spending tens of thousands of dollars, at the expense of the taxpayer. Australia urgently needs a Federal corruption watchdog to stop this unfair abuse of entitlements! The Health Minister’s New Year’s Eve trips to the Gold Coast, the Foreign Ministers trips to the polo, Minister for Finance taking his wife to the AFL Grand Final, the leader of the opposition flying his wife all over the country while he used an RAAF plane - all funded by us hardworking taxpayers. This is just the start of it - the list goes on. At the moment, politicians are able to twist the rules and rort the system. While Centrelink payments, pensions, health services, education face ongoing funding pressures and we are constantly told WE the taxpayers need to tighten our belts - our politicians continue to abuse the system to live rock star lifestyles. It has to stop. Please sign & share - unless an independent Federal watchdog is established to hold them accountable, this unconscionable behaviour will continue.

Graeme Andrews
81,873 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten, Dr Michael Gannon, Greg Hunt MP

May 1st Changes to Pap Smears

  As of May 1st the following changes will be implemented to women's Pap Smears: "-women will be invited when they are due to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register-the time between tests will change from two to five years-the age at which screening starts will increase from 18 years to 25 years-women aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have an exit test. The new program will commence from 1 May 2017 when the new Cervical Screening Test will become available on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Until this time, women aged between 18 and 69 years who have ever been sexually active, should continue to have Pap test when due." The government run website states that: "Based on new evidence and better technology, the National Cervical Screening Program will change from 1 May 2017 to improve early detection and save more lives." Prior to May 1 the website advises: "It is very important that women continue to participate in the current two yearly Pap test program to ensure they are not at risk of developing cervical cancer. Pap tests have already halved the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program in 1991. Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test."   "The new Cervical Screening Test detects human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is the first step in developing cervical cancer. The procedure for collecting the sample for HPV testing is the same as the procedure for having a Pap smear. A Health Care Professional will still take a small sample of cells from the woman’s cervix. The sample will be sent to a pathology laboratory for examination. While the current Pap test can detect abnormal cell changes, the new Cervical Screening Test will detect the HPV infection that can cause the abnormal cell changes, prior to the development of cancer. Persistent HPV infections can cause abnormal cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. However, this usually takes a long time, often more than 10 years."   Some of the reasoning behind the changes are: " -cervical cancer in young women is rare (in both HPV vaccinated and unvaccinated women)-despite screening women younger than 25 years of age for over 20 years there has been no change to the rates of cervical cancer or rates of death from cervical cancer in this age group-investigating and treating common cervical abnormalities in young women that would usually resolve by themselves can increase the risk of pregnancy complications later in life-the HPV vaccination has already been shown to reduce cervical abnormalities among women younger than 25 years of age and, in contrast to screening, is ultimately expected to reduce cervical cancer in this age group." Please see petition updates and responses. Dr Michael Gannon has responded to the petition.    

Isabella Rossi
71,613 supporters
Petitioning Malcom Turnbull, Alan Tudge MP, Grant Tidswell, Hank Jongen, Bill Shorten

Suspend Centrelink's Automated Debt recovery until it's fixed

Australia, we've had multiple people consider suicide because of this debt recovery scheme. Centrelinks own PR team have been sending people the Life Hotline (Suicide prevention) via their twitter account.  We've had families, prior to Christmas, learn they cannot afford Christmas presents with this looming over their heads. We've had students, who did the right thing - within the realm of their knowledge of a system so convoluted, Centrelinks own people don't know how it works - be chastised and declared guilty prior to being proven guilty. At one point in your life, you were or are trying to meet the basic requirements of living, be it studying, taking care of a loved one, trying desperately to find work, getting through illness or trying to make ends meet for yourself or your family with assistance from your Government.You might be someone who worked for a small business that no longer exists, the pay slips don't exist and you're being told you needed to keep them for 7 years. That's true. Your banking history might help you. However; what's also true is that you should have reported your income during the time you were on benefits and Centrelink should have referenced these details when making their automated decision finding you guilty of owing a debt.  But we all know, in the vast majority of cases, that didn't happen. You could have worked 9 months out of the year in part time jobs, contractor roles, freelancing (photographers, anyone?). In either event, if you reported the income correctly, the information is there for Centrelink to do the right thing.The fact is, Centrelink didn't do the right thing.   Once you realise that, the question really becomes; How much did this system cost to implement? How much has it actually been able to find is a 100% certain debt that needs to be recovered? How much extra time is it taking up on the phones, away from real services? How much extra time is it taking to resolve an incorrect debt amount? How often does the debt amount match between a Manual review and the automated system? What's the actual cost of fixing these mistakes on a case by case basis?   That's the kind of transparency that's needed. Until that information is publicly available, the system should be suspended as a matter of public health and safety.For further reading; The debt was a double up from the ATO having 2 different names for an employer. Simple. Useful information on what to do if you do have debt An exceptional explnation of what's going on with this automated System and a list of a few ways that is broken. MP Andrew Wilkie: "People are terrified about how they will put food on the table or provide Christmas for their kids. My office has spoken to people who are distraught because they have received a threatening letter warning of enormous debt” Hank, listen. The onus is not on us to prove that we are not welfare frauds. Centrelink cannot claim that we owe a debt without having a valid basis for that claim. The mere fact that we earned a certain amount in a year is not enough You're not the only one as this reddit thread shows. People who have paid to avoid the hassle of finding payslips, people have set up pay arrangements under duress of increased debt / fees. Shadow Minister for Human Services Linda Burney said it should be suspended, citing "inherent problems right across the system". The system is also flagging cases where employer names and other information have inconsistent spelling across records, assuming recipients have more than one job and haven't declared income. Valerie Farfalla: Some of them have been paying debts that they may not even owe 73,000 families sent a debt notice, incorrectly due to a system error. MP Andrew Wilkie: "I've had people who have approached me who have been frightened, absolutely scared, people who are paying this money because they are so frightened by this very official letter," Mr Wilkie said on Wednesday. "I've had four people now approach me in my office who I would describe as presenting as suicidal and in all those cases we've taken what action we thought was appropriate." Paul Shelter: “I said when I came in that this would be happening, I said this was already happening, I said it was unacceptable and I made that case the entire time I was at the DTO [digital transformation office], and the DTA [digital transformation agency],” he said. “I was very explicit about it internally, not nearly as much so externally. It was a fight that I fought from day one, not an easy fight to win, because you’ve got an entire bureaucracy of IT bureaucrats who are backed by large vendors, who have large numbers of staff, and because ministers, I’m going out on a limb here, very quickly become captive to the departments that they deal with.” The list could go on and on and on but Enough, is Enough.

Enough is Enough
59,642 supporters
Petitioning Malcom Turnbull, Bill Shorten, Richard Di Natale, Pauline HANSON

Stop selling off our country, 99 year leases maximum instead

For too long now successive governments have failed to secure our sovereignty by literally selling off the farm, a notable current property up for sale is "Anna Creek" which is over 1% of Australia's land mass. At this stage it looks like we may win this one and keep the farm in our hands, however as more go up for sale can the same be said for them all? Our collective proposition to the political parties of Australia, is to limit foreign ownership to a maximum 99 year lease; so that at some point into the future our sovereignty returns to us, just as Hong Kong did to the Chinese back in 1997. There are many reasons to do this, such as ensuring investment and growth now that gets returned to us down the track; the maintenance of our autonomous governance without too much pressure from foreign governments/corporations and ending up at war with a country that owns plenty of our land. Can you imagine renting a commercial property in Australia, that belongs to a communist government? Not too far fetched. Maybe they should be renting from us! Please limit short term gains and ensure our country remains ours into the future.

Adrian Dowell
49,219 supporters
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.

8 months 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

1 year ago