Decision Maker

Bill Shorten

  • Leader of the Opposition

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Petitioning PM Julia Gillard

Australian Government: It's time for a Royal Commission into child abuse by the clergy including the Catholic Church.

My name is Pete.  When I was 8 years old I was sexually abused over a period of time by a member of the Catholic Church. I was an altar boy at a small parish in regional Victoria, and I was forced to commit acts that I did not understand or agree to. All I knew was that it was wrong, that it did not make me feel special like the priest said it would, that I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, and that I was bad. It took me 22 years to tell anyone. It was only during a session with a psychologist during a particularly difficult time in my life that I dealt with what happened. I was a little boy when it happened and because of this abuse, I was rarely honest with anyone.  My father died not really knowing his own son.  I almost didn’t make it but I am here. I was able to navigate my way through the hurt and trouble. But I am one of the lucky ones. Dozens of others have taken their own lives, and those that survive have suffered incredible amounts of mental anguish.  Parliamentarians on both sides need to support a Royal Commission. Only then can every one of us who has been damaged, start to grow again. Please join me in signing on to this petition from high-profile Australians calling for justice for victims of clergy abuse: Dear Prime Minister,  The evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children by the clergy, including the Catholic Church, is now irrefutable. Notwithstanding the growing body of that evidence over many years, the perpetrators of such abuse continue to evade legal and moral responsibility for their criminal behaviour. Attempts by our police including those in both New South Wales and Victoria, to investigate these crimes have been hindered and frustrated by the offenders and those who support them. Under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia is required to take ‘all appropriate measures to protect the child from sexual abuse’. Until such time that this issue is thoroughly examined and addressed by a body with strong powers to compel relevant evidence to be provided to it, our nation can not claim to uphold its obligations to protect vulnerable children. Prime Minister, we call on you to take immediate action to establish a Royal Commission into this matter, with the aim of eliminating the scourge of child abuse by the clergy in this country and thereby protecting our children. -- Josh Bornstein, Catherine Deveny, Fr. Bob McGuire, Jane Caro, Michael Short, Sue Cato, Chrys Stevenson, Andrew Knight, and Pete Dillon.

Catherine Deveny
18,185 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

Nationwide Cigarette Butt Ban and Recycling Program for Australia

Cigarette Butts have been the worlds biggest pollution problem in recent times with 4.5 Trillion butts littered each year globally and over 7 Billion butts littered in Australia. This has had devastating impacts to the environment and the health of wildlife, marine life and the human population. The major toxic and polluting component of the cigarette is the filter. Cigarette filters are made from hazardous and polluting chemicals and materials including Cadmium, Arsenic, Lead and Acetate Plastic. During and after use of a cigarette these harmful chemicals are released into the air, earth and waterways. The acetate plastic component of the filter remains intact for years before breaking down, and has been found in the stomaches of many birds and other wildlife who have mistaken it for food. These environmental and health impacts can be eliminated by making available smarter eco-sustainable tobacco products and recycling options to the smoking community. It would be great to implement a national ban on cigarette filters, forcing tobacco companies to design filter-less tobacco products to prevent any further cigarette butt pollution, and as a minimum implement a national recycling program for used cigarette butts.  It is a shame we do not currently have any of these..?? There have been cigarette butt recycling campaigns launched in the past by Terracycle in Australia which have had a very healthy impact on our environment while the program was operating. Terracycle have ceased the cigarette butt recycling campaign recently due to tobacco companies and the government failing to fund and support the recycling program.  The efforts of the Tobacco Companies and our Government in addressing post consumer pollution with cigarettes clearly have not been good enough and this is unacceptable.   Help us send a strong message and request to Parliament and Tobacco Companies to make a stronger commitment to our health and environment and implement a national cigarette butt ban, and/or at least re-implement and fund a nation-wide Cigarette Butt Recycling Program and Strategy for Australia.    

Matthew Smith
5,829 supporters
Petitioning Julia Banks MP, Andrew Wilkie MP, Dr Kerryn Phelps MP, Rebekha Sharkie MP, Adam Bandt MP, Bob Katter MP, Cathy McGowan MP, Bill Shorten, Senator Penny Wong

Petition calling for a Motion of No Confidence in The Morrison Coalition Govt.

We're calling on the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and cross-bench Members of the House of Representatives, Julia Banks MP, Andrew Wilkie MP, Dr Kerryn Phelps MP, Cathy McGowan MP, Bob Katter MP, Rebekha Sharkie MP and Adam Bandt MP to put a Motion of No Confidence in Scott Morrison and the LNP Coalition minority government to the parliament to be voted upon on Monday 18th February 2019. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Coalition government are stumbling from one political calamity to another.  Prime Minister Morrison has been manipulating the parliament without compunction for the LNP's own selfish political ends at the expense of Australia and all Australians. Prime Minister Morrison is an embarrassment on the international stage and has proven to be a duplicitous and disingenuous Prime Minister.  Morrison has brought the Office of Prime Minister into disrepute by his ineptitude, dishonesty, fabrications and incompetence.  Prime Minister Morrison and the LNP Coalition government are a liability to Australia.  Each day Australians are being alerted to the growing avalanche of incompetence, gross negligence and corruption of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his minority LNP Coalition government.  Enough is enough.  We want a federal election NOW!    

Belinda Jones
1,648 supporters
Petitioning Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Hon Bill Shorten MP, Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek, Richard Marles, Warren Truss, Hon Julie Bishop MP...

Stop the attack on Australians' citizenship! Scrap the [Un]Australian Citizenship Amendment Bill. Don’t trade our liberty for so-called 'security'.

Michael Lucy from The Monthly describes the situation succinctly: Legislation that will allow the government to effectively cancel the citizenship of dual passport-holders who have committed certain terrorism-related offences has returned to Parliament. This is a considerably revised form of the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 that Tony Abbott proposed in May. Some of the quirkier parts of the bill – such as including vandalism of Commonwealth property among the offences that could lead to revocation of citizenship – have been removed, though it will still apply retrospectively, and can apply to people who have not been convicted of any crime. Labor has indicated that it will support the legislation. One important question still hasn’t really been answered: what’s the point? What does it achieve that existing legislation can’t? Will Australians fighting for Islamic State in Syria really be bothered by losing the right to the passports they have already burned? Are there people in Australia who haven’t been convicted of any offence that the government is planning to exile? And if we do start banishing people, where will they go? Is this anything more than a way of washing our hands of Australians we don’t want to deal with any more? On this issue, as with refugees, the government is pretending that shipping a problem offshore is the same as solving it. The law is also liable to set a bad precedent. A citizenship that can be cancelled is not really citizenship; it is a temporary privilege that can be demolished in a moment at the whim of a minister. No matter how great the crimes our citizens commit, they are still Australian. As the Bill’s explanatory memorandum notes, “Australian citizenship gives full and formal membership of the Australian community and is a common bond … uniting all Australians”. At the same time, it says “The Bill only applies to persons who are a national or citizen of a country other than Australia, that is, dual citizens”. Both of these can’t be true at once. Either all of us get equal treatment in the law, or dual nationals become literal second-class citizens. The Australian Citizenship Amendment Bill 2015 should be scrapped. It is time for us as a nation to face up to our real security problems and start solving them, rather than off-shoring them. Australia should rely on its courts to prosecute and punish criminal behaviour by terrorists.  Alice Hill Melbourne @backseatdriverz

Alice Hill
1,283 supporters
Petitioning Paul Howes

Royal Commission into the AWU

If you believe that Unions should be held to account for monies entrusted to them by thier members, that are then misappropriated? That said actions by persons involved need to held accountable & exposed fully? Is what we are witnessing now on a daily basis, cause for you to question Ms Gillard and Co's actions regarding her level of involvement in the AWU & AWU Workplace Reform Association? Twitter page #AWUSLUSHFUND Do you believe this union is beyond the law of the land and by association potential criminal activity needs to be properly investigated? Then the only instrument open to resolve the complex, systematic & long term activities of this Union is to call for and institute a Royal Commission to remove the stigma now inflicting the entire Union movement and broader political sphere in Australia. There are now to many questions, documents and evidential briefs in the public domain to continue to sweep this type alleged corruption under the carpet. If any ordinary person/company was to defraud anyone of many hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own personal purposes, your or they would be before the courts quicker than you could imagine. No matter the position or perceived positions of power should not be allowed to believe they are above the law. Conduct of this type needs to be exposed and persons involved be held accountable for their actions either by omission or commission. The appalling activities alone constitute an appalling breach of the various laws of Australia. We expect our leaders, whether it be in a Union or Company and or Government to act with honesty and integrity and when this is found to be wanting we must have these persons be accountable. Only a Royal Commission has the scope and powers to compel the truth to be brought forth to the Australian Citizenry, to whom these responsible parties are ultimately accountable to. This is a grass roots call for ordinary Australians to call for a Royal Commission and to send both sides of Parliament a clear message that you require something to be done, not just platitudes and worthless words. Australians expect and demand action. Demand a Royal Commission in the activities of The AWU.

Jon Fillips
1,095 supporters
Petitioning Bill Shorten, Kelly O'Dwyer, Australian Catholic Church

Consider the payment of compensation to the mothers subjected to former forced adoption policies.

Between 1951 and 1985, an estimated 150,000-250,000 children were born in Australia and adopted forcibly.  Owing to a range of social and economic factors prevalent at the time, adoptions were commonly arranged for the babies of single mothers. In many cases, religious organisations that offered accommodation for young single pregnant women concurrently organised adoptions. Governments at both a State and Federal level adopted a laissez-faire approach to this practice. Numerous inquiries have since concluded that the range of practices involved were unlawful. For the relinquishing mothers involved, post-adoption, a large proportion suffered emotional and physical trauma, post-traumatic stress and in other more grave cases, self-harm, suicide and abuse. In the ensuing years, many of these women have passed away. The Community Affairs References Committee's response to the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Adoption Policies and Practices recommended that 'the Commonwealth should take a lead role in addressing their consequences'. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered an official apology to relinquishing mothers on 21 March, 2013. That was over 5 years ago and little has changed. We now call on The Minister For Women, the Leader Of The Federal Oppostion and the Australian Catholic Church to recommend to Parliament that the government and Church work together to ensure that compensation is paid to the remaining mothers who were victims of these unjust policies and practices.

Chris John
985 supporters
Petitioning The hon. Bill Shorten MP

Grow a spine and some values

Grow a spine and some values Bill Shorten! The Abbott government will go down in history as the most destructive, inhumane, corrupt, dishonest and self serving. But it seems that the Shorten opposition will go down in history, doing next to nothing. Which is worse?  We need you to start doing your job! Politicians are supposed to serve the people, NOT big business. It’s no mystery - the less poverty, the more commerce. The most important investment we can make is in human resources, not our country's resources at the expense of the irreversible destruction of the environment. When the last tree is cut down, the last fish caught, the last lump of coal dug up, the last water source poisoned, we will finally realise we can not eat money! Bill Shorten, we need you to show some courage!Why do you continue to take such a morally reprehensible stance on asylum seekers? How can you sit there and let the Liberal government pass those ludicrously restrictive new domestic security laws? ASIO can now spy on the entire population of Australia with just a single warrant! That includes YOU Mr Shorten! This is the kind of legislation you expect to see somewhere like Iran or North Korea. #StopDataRetention You have also supported the Liberal government to join THE WAR ON TERROR. What will this achieve? What did the last WAR ON TERROR achieve? Joining the US in this latest war will just put us all in danger, cause massive destruction and countless deaths and make US arms manufacturers even richer. And now Hockey says he needs to cut the budget even more to pay for it! What destructive legislation will you rubber stamp next? Our greatest fear of Tony Abbott becoming Prime Minister……..has happened. The fact that you're doing such a pathetic job of combating this madman is disappointing and disillusioning. The thought of him serving a second term because of your lack of spine is unbearable!Bill Shorten, we need an inspiring leader! What we don't need is a wimp with a "small target policy", who only stands-up when the opinion polls say it's safe to do so. We need someone who will do what's right, not what's politically expedient. We need someone who can unite the nation with a brave and inspiring vision for the future!  Bill Shorten, we need you to become a true leader!

Marcus Thyer
500 supporters