- Shadow Minister for Health
- Shadow Minister for Health
Decriminalise the use of medicinal cannabis for people with terminal cancer like my son.
The 24th February 2019 marked the fourth anniversary of the death from bowel cancer of my beautiful 25-year-old son Dan Haslam - and is the third anniversary of the legislative changes we believed would make medicinal cannabis available to all sick Australians who needed it. When it was passed, they called it 'Dan's Law'. After years of campaigning, backed by this Change.org petition which at the time was signed by over 250,000 people, I was so proud. Dan wasn't beside me, but he was with me. But now I'm angry and bitterly disappointed. Why? Because the medicinal cannabis system kickstarted by Dan's Law is a mess. Rather than making things easier, the legislative changes of 2016 which were supposed to make cannabis and cannabis products available to sick Australians have barely improved matters at all. Only around 2000 people have been able to legally access medicinal cannabis. Patients still struggle to obtain such medicines legally while a huge black market has developed servicing hundreds of thousands of people. The products supplied by this illicit market are of course of unknown quality and safety, completely illegal and are being used without medical supervision, placing thousands of sick people in harm’s way. But it gets even worse. A knock-on of the 2016 Dan's Law legislation has been that medicinal cannabis and other cannabis products fall into a state of permanent ‘regulatory limbo’. They are – quite literally ‘approved unapproved medicines’. And the TGA, which approves new medicines in Australia, is simply ill-prepared to assess medicinal cannabis. Dan’s Law was put in place to legalise the cultivation of medicinal cannabis in Australia. But was it all for nothing? That's why I'm therefore re-starting this petition and asking for your help to fix the medicinal cannabis mess. Please, sign and share this petition and help me honour my son's life and hard work. What we have now is an insult to his memory, and leaves hundreds of thousands of chronically and terminally ill Australians in unnecessary pain. #FixDansLaw
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.
“Praying the Gay Away” nearly killed me - outlaw ‘LGBTQA+ Conversion’ therapy now!
Trying to “Pray the Gay Away” nearly killed me. I’m not the only one. An investigation in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed LGBTQA+ conversion therapy has not disappeared in Australia, but has simply gone more underground. According to the article, even children have been subjected to ex-gay therapy.I was only 16 when my own ‘conversion therapy’ began. I came out to a church leader who wanted me to be ‘cured’ and I began sessions with a counsellor aimed at changing my sexuality. At 17 my church introduced me to the leader of an actual program designed to turn me straight. Eventually, I was desperate enough to try it. Every week, members spoke about their ‘sins’ and we learned about the spiritual and experiential reasons that we had ‘turned gay’. I was so ashamed and guilt-ridden that I remained completely celibate for years. So-called ‘conversion therapy’ causes depression, self-loathing and even suicide. I prayed to God asking him to either heal me, or kill me. I was so depressed, I wanted to die. The trauma associated with that part of my life still affects me - how could it not? How is this legal? I don’t want to see a single kid harmed by “therapies” that tell them that something that is innate in them is evil or demonic or needs to be ‘healed’. Please, sign this petition calling for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Health Minister Greg Hunt to work with each state to protect the most vulnerable and outlaw LGBTQA+ conversion therapy and it’s advocacy nationwide. It has no place in our medical profession and certainly not in the lives of minors. *UPDATE* This petition focuses on legislation/regulation to prevent ‘gay conversion’ being practised in formal or therapeutic settings (such as in counsellors offices). This is a good start, however to effectively curtail the SOCE/Gay Conversion movement, a much broader response is needed. After signing this petition, please read the recommendations in the survivor statement at www.SOCEsurvivors.com.au
Funding Fairness for Ovarian Cancer Research
I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in February 2016. Surprisingly, my treatment was the same they've been giving women for 50 years: de-bulking surgery followed by brutal chemotherapy. Quite typically my cancer relapsed before Christmas 2016, making me terminal. Why? There is no cure for relapsed ovarian cancer. I was horrified to learn this and think it's pretty outrageous. Our ovaries are the very essence of life and yet when it comes to cancer they are stuck with decades-old treatment and a shocking prognosis. Ovarian cancer has a 46% five year survival rate. Compared to the 91% survival rate of breast cancer we are lagging way behind. For me this means that I'm not going to survive to share significant life milestones, like my daughter's graduation, her marriage, her first child. As a single mother, I find this cruel and terrifying. I have come to know many single and married mums who are living with this fear as they deal with the realities of their ovarian cancer. And there's a common reaction - if I had breast cancer the chances of me surviving would be doubled. How unfair. Breast cancer receives four times as much funding as ovarian cancer, and corporate funding is almost endless. Money pays for research. Research provides better outcomes. It's pretty simple. Ovarian cancer takes the lives of 1,000 Australian women every year but is one of the most under-funded cancers receiving four times LESS than breast cancer. I applaud the tremendous outcomes in the fight against breast cancer and believe that with similar commitment and resources we can achieve the same success for ovarian cancer. That's why we need funding fairness - to give women with ovarian cancer a fighting chance to be here for our children and our grandchildren, to continue to contribute to society rather than be taken before our time just because society did not see ovaries as important as breasts. Please sign and share my petition as I call on the government and donors to look below the waist when it comes to cancer funding and give researchers the money they need to come up with a screening test, clinical trials and better treatment options for ovarian cancer. www.pinkmeetsteal.com If you want to donate directly to Pink Meets Teal, you can do so via Fearless Flowers: https://timelesstextiles.com.au/product/fearless-flowers-ovarian-cancer-donation/
Don't send the Nahal family back to certain danger in Egypt
Tony Nahal is a fine, upstanding member of the Australian community, an extremely valuable and trusted employee of an Australian small business, a wonderful husband and family man, and father to a six-year-old daughter who was born on Australian soil and has never been to the country for which she is imminently destined. Tony's family are Coptic Christians who came to this country seeking asylum from assault and abuse in what is an overwhelmingly Islamic country. After seven years of processing their application for Asylum, the Nahals are being deported back to Egypt, where right now Coptic Christians are being slaughtered by Egyptian police. Their entire lives, their jobs, Rita's school, friends, and country of birth, are here, under the Southern Cross. The Minister for Immigration can intervene and stop this senseless and cruel deportation, and we call upon The Honourable Chris Bowen MP, Member for McMahon, Federal Minister for Immigration, to do so, in the name of Australians, small businesses, families, and children born on Australian soil, just like me.
Pass Australian Glass-Steagall Bill to break up the banks
To the Commonwealth Parliament: Pass Australian Glass-Steagall Bill to break up the banks The Financial Services Royal Commission’s exposure of banking misconduct and crimes proves that the banks must be broken up. Traditional commercial banking, of taking deposits and making loans, should not mix with investment banking, insurance, stock broking, funds management, financial advice, superannuation, hedge funds and private equity funds. These activities expose banks and their deposits to risks, and their cross-promotion by banks is a conflict of interest that makes customers vulnerable to exploitation. Australia needs a Glass-Steagall separation of commercial banks from all other financial activities. The USA’s Glass-Steagall Act protected Americans from financial crises for the 66 years it was in force, from 1933 to 1999. Parliament must pass the Australian Glass-Steagall legislation drafted by CEC Australia, the Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2018, which Bob Katter MP has announced he will introduce as a Private Member’s Bill, to break up the banks and protect bank customers and their savings.
Transplant medications to be free for Australian transplant patients
As the partner of a transplant receipient ( kidney) I am acutely aware of the burden that the out of pocket expenses for transplant recipients in relation to their ongoing care of their transplant. An Australian article titled " Quantifying the medication burden of kidney transplant recipients in the first year post‑transplantation". This article outlines that during the study period of nine months the out of pocket costs for those without a health care card was $916. 85. When you average this out over 12 months that equates on average to $1,222.46. This amount does not meet the Medicare safety net Threshold for a couple. Deceased transplants are an altruistic gift, and they should not be compromised by the cost of medications to ensure they remain viable. It is known that some people opt to cut back on their immunosuppression medication (to save money), with catastrophic consequences. These medications should be made available for free to ensure that this gift of an organ is not compromised.
PROTECT OUR WATER AND OUR FOOD BOWLS
BAN FRACKING & CSG UNCONDITIONALLY NATIONWIDE
Water and food security is being placed at risk here in Australia because governments continue to industrialise our agricultural land and allow the resources sector to pollute our surface and groundwater. It is time to demand action not just on climate change, as action to protect our food bowls is also urgently needed. We need a national food and water security policy. Fracking gas and CSG projects are the biggest threat to a sustainable Australia because these projects pollute all surrounding water sources, including aquifers, contaminate air quality, soil and compromise the ability of landowners to produce clean food, as does conventional gas on prime agriculture land. With over 50% of prime production land in the NT and 2% in WA equating to a land mass the size of Tasmania, approved for fracking, as well as, CSG projects being approved in Queensland and NSW, along with conventional gas wells being drilled in the middle of prime agricultural land in SA, our national food and water security is being placed at risk. One shale or tight gas well requires between 15 to 30 million litres of clean water over the life time of the well. With 100s and 1000s of wells being planned for Australia, we simply don't have that kind of water to spare in the direst inhabited continent on the planet. Well casing failure leads to water contamination, making water undrinkable and unsuitable for food production. We simply can't afford this industry our water is too precious because all wells fail eventually. A gas company in WA contaminated a water source with radiation and the recommended resolution from the gas company, was to feed the contaminated drinking water to livestock. This is livestock that would have entered our food chain. In Queensland CSG projects are compromising a farmer's ability to produce clean food for Australians because their water bores have either dried up or have been contaminated by nearby CSG projects. The UN Resolution 64/292....states, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. The United Nations Charter defines democracy as “ a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives” Our request is also supported by the United Nations Human Rights International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. PART I Article 1 1. “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. PART III Article 21. 3. “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government”.
The hiring of specialist trained Gender Surgeons in each Australian State and Territory
To the honourable members of the Australian Parliament, I, Elizabeth Kazon, an Intersex Transgender Female, and my fellow LGBTQIA+ individuals, allies and supporters, call upon you to without delay hire surgeons within the Medicare public health system to perform sex reassignment surgeries, thus making these certified Life Saving Surgeries, affordable for all Transgender and Intersex Australians. Within Australia, Medicare pays a rebate for some Male to Female Sex Reassignment Surgeries and some Female to Male Sex Reassignment Surgeries, however as there isn’t the possibility to have these surgeries performed in the public health system, private surgeons have a virtual monopoly, making these necessary surgeries unaffordable for a majority of Transgender and Intersex individuals. Furthermore, advancements are being made in these surgeries, however there is no opportunity for the private surgeons to learn and use these new techniques as they are constantly backlogged with patients who have no alternatives. The approximate cost in Australia to have a Penile Inversion Vaginoplasty is $18’000 excluding aftercare, fights and accommodation. A new surgery, the Peritoneum Pull-Through Vaginoplasty has been pioneered and is being performed oversees for approximately $20’000-$40’000 USD. This cost is relatively affordable when compared to the $100’000+ payable to have Phalloplasty performed in Australia. These prices are unaffordable, and it should be offered within the public system. In addition, it is with great conviction that we also believe that breast enhancement, breast reduction, Buttocks enhancement and buttocks reduction should also be performed for those holding a valid Intersex or Transgender Diagnosis as such procedures have been proven to greatly improve Transgender and Intersex individuals’ mental health. We the undersigned call upon you, the Australian Parliament, to without delay, put pressure on the individual states and territories to hire and train 1 specialist surgeon per capital city in Australia plus at least 4 specialist nurses to assist them. These surgeons collectively should be proficient in the following new and older techniques to meet the needs of the Transgender and Intersex Individuals of Australia: · Peritoneum Pull-Through Vaginoplasty, · Sigmoid Colon Vaginoplasty, · Penile Inversion Vaginoplasty, · Facial Feminization Surgery, · Voice Feminization Surgery, · Tracheal Shave, · Breast and Buttock Augmentation, · Mastectomy, · Hysterectomy, · Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy, · Metoidplasty, · Phalloplasty. Yours with hope,
NSW Health employee's Corruption - Wasting tax payers money on cruise party on working day
Accepting gifts, entertainment party or tickets from supplier from current supplier Accordingl to the Conflicts of Interest and Gifts and Benefits policy directive Staff are expected to perform duties in a fair and unbiased way and not to make decisions which are affected by self-interest or personal gain; this involves avoiding actual or perceived conflicts of interest and not accepting gifts of a non-token nature. It is confirmed on 30th November 2018. Employee benefits team (7 staff including director) attended Cruise party from Lease Plus group, who are currently providing leasing services to HealthShare & eHealth NSW and other NSW Health agencies as well. There is proven intention to buy Salary packaging software from this company. LeasePLUS. According to the policy if there is a intention of buying anything from the current or future supplier, you must not take any gifts from them as it is a well-defined bribery. In this case, there is a clear intention to buy software from LeasePLUS and keeping this company as HealthShare’s lease providers. The Supplier have hosted a cruise party with unlimited alcohol and food for the team to indulge and to ensure that they are the preferred providers in the tendering process for both services. It’s a clear conflict of interest and all involed in this must be sacked to set right example for the govt employees. Moreover, everyone in employee benefits team “Work from home” in the morning” and leave home at 10 am to attend the cruise at lunch time in the city. That’s 7 Health Manager’s full day salary used for the entertainment purposes and it valued at almost $5000- $7000 which was paid from tax payer’s monies. Gift were costed approximately $1000 and above. Photos and videos were uploaded on social media and know to many staffs in NSW Health. Here is the link for Policy directive for conflicts of interest and gifts and benefits. https://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/pds/ActivePDSDocuments/PD2015_045.pdf This is waste of tax payers money, abuse of power and breach of NSW Health Code of Conduct. To set the right example for all govt employees all involved must be sacked immediately. IN PUBLIC INTEREST Yours sincerely Whistle-blowers