Decision Maker

David Littleproud

  • Minister for Water and Drought

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Petitioning Scott Morrison, David Littleproud, Bridget McKenzie

Show you care about our Aussie Farmers in Drought...

DID YOU EAT TODAY? I HOPE YOU THANKED A FARMER... Did you know that Australia is in the middle of its worst drought ever? Our farmers are crippling under the strain and we need to do more to support them. I see so many community groups joining force to supply donated goods to keep our farmers going but I want to see more from our government.      I understand it's a national problem and it's far and wide, you can't make it rain but our farming community is the backbone to our country.  Right now in some states we have a subsidy for the cost of transporting donated fodder however that is expecting a very proud farmer to ask for help. We all know that our farmers are the most proud people in our country and asking for help is not in their nature. I know that we would get more help to our farmers if we could have farmers buy supplies and our government subsidise the transport. Drought doesn't just have an impact on the livestock, it also impacts the mental health of our farmers, their families and the surrounding community. With stock feed reducing across the country, transport costs are fast becoming the biggest issue impacting farmers trying to stay afloat.  The ask: That we, the public of Australia sign this petition to show you support our Aussie Farmers in Drought and ask our government to do more to support them. Tell our government that we need a NATIONAL DISASTER FUND created to help support our country in crisis because right now our farmers need our help. Let's also get a transport subsidy setup so that farmers don't need to just rely on donations but they can also get purchased stock feed delivered to them and not pay full freight.  It's time we provide support to our own, we can't make it rain but we can help a mate in need. That is the Australian Way...

Bellea .
210,997 supporters
Petitioning Commonwealth Government

The Murray Darling Basin Plan

The Murray Darling Basin Plan will cost Australian Taxpayers $13 billion. In one hundreds years of record taking there have never been recorded fish kills like the ones we are seeing now. Not only are we seeing fish deaths in the Darling of global significance, but since the 2009 and the introduction of the 2007 Water Act there have been 4 hypoxic blackwater events in the Edward/Wakool system, which spread into the Murray and Murrumbidgee systems killing hundreds of thousands of native fish. Currently poor water management and policy is causing horrific fish deaths along the Darling, it is also causing river bank erosion and slumping in the Murray system due to the unsustainable high flows been pushed through. The flooding of forests along the Murray in order to get water to South Australia in the middle of a drought highlights the flawed assumptions used to model the Murray Darling Basin Plan. The significant flooding has resulted in the deaths of many animals, including natives because flooding has depleted food supplies. Government and large corporations have been complicit in dividing communities and have failed rural communities and family farmers who have the capacity to ensure the environment is sustainably managed for the next generation.  Environment and agricultural policy must go hand in hand, one does not need to be in competition with the other. As a nation we need to respond, the management of our most precious resource is embarrassing, irresponsible and lacks transparency. Please sign and share this petition and encourage others to insist that our national leaders call those responsible for water management to account.   We call on all governments to put politics aside and start governing for the whole Basin by treating rural communities, family farms and the environment with respect and on an equal footing.

Speak Up Campaign
130,439 supporters
Petitioning David Littleproud, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud

Long-term plan for farming and climate change

My name is Jody Brown and I'm a grazier from Longreach in Central West QLD. I’m responsible for roughly 2000 ewes and their lambs, 550 cows and their calves, plus about 80 maiden heifers and 20 horses. There are many small challenges we face every day as graziers: a cow with calving issues, a busted water pipe, or a bull that’s jumped out of his paddock. But by far, the biggest challenge we face in the long term is damage to our climate. Climate change has already warmed the planet one degree and makes droughts like our current one longer and hotter.  Our region is now in its 6th consecutive year of drought, and it’s not an isolated incident. We have been dealing with ongoing droughts of increasing severity and duration for the better part of the last two decades. That's why, along with thousands of other farmers, I’m part of Farmers for Climate Action. We’re calling for a national plan on farming and climate change. We have already seen some progress on this at the last meeting of state and federal agriculture Ministers. Now it's time to prioritise, implement and fund it.  This plan will guide our federal and state governments through what they need to do to reduce emissions and help farmers manage the changes that are already predicted in a warming world. We need a plan to manage what we can't avoid, and avoid what we can't manage.  The national plan on farming and climate change should include: Comprehensive research on the direct and indirect risks climate change poses to Australian agri-food systems, including risks to primary production, biosecurity, food processing, food safety, farmer health, key infrastructure, equity, animal welfare, export markets, and farm inputs; Short-, medium-, and long-term targets for adapting Aussie farming to climate change including a ‘just transition’ for regions that will no longer be viable for agriculture; Support for farmers to transition to ‘climate-smart’ agricultural practices that build resilience and reduce emissions, including funding for research, development, education, training and extension in this area; A long-term plan to promote clean energy in farming communities, including community-owned renewables projects that can provide sustainable, alternative income for farmers during drought; A strong commitment to reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy, in a way that maximises benefits to farmers and rural communities, and investigating all options for supporting farmers to capture and maintain carbon in our soils and vegetation; A commitment to stopping new coal and gas mines. Fossil fuel mines use water that we as farmers desperately need, and make climate change worse. Climate change is not a future problem. This drought is not business as usual. For farmers, climate change is here now. And our politicians need a long-term plan to deal with it, for the sake of Aussie food and farming.

Farmers for Climate Action
118,066 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP, Dr Chris Parker, Melissa Price MP, David Littleproud

Restrict the use of glyphosate in public spaces in Australia

You might have seen a recent episode of Four Corners, The Monsanto Papers. It exposed the tactics that global chemical corporation Monsanto use to protect its billion-dollar business and its product, the weed killer, Roundup, and its primary ingredient, glyphosate. I was diagnosed with cancer just before my 30th birthday, and at age 31. Four beautiful, bright young women I knew growing up have tragically lost their lives to cancer in the past five years.  I don’t want anyone to unnecessarily what these women and their families have been through, or what I have been through. So I’m calling on the Australian Government to take immediate action and restrict the use of glyphosate in public spaces in Australia. In 2015 glyphosate was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) because of its strong association with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is also on a list of known carcinogens in the state of California. In August 2018, a US jury ordered Monsanto to pay Dewayne Johnson – a man dying of cancer - $289 million because it’s Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease.  Nine thousand people in America are now suing Monsanto with claims that Roundup contributed to their cancer. Glyphosate has been found by IARC to linger in water, air and food long after it has been sprayed. Here in Australia, there are around 500 products containing glyphosate registered for use in Australia including Roundup, the most commonly used weed killer in Australia and used by local councils around Australia. This means that children, other people, and their pets who visit parks and gardens around Australia are exposed to this probable carcinogen. Currently, there are no regulations or checks in place and there is no way for the Australian public to know if their local council is using it according to label directions, nor how it is used or if it is present in the food we buy. Belgium, Malta, The Netherlands and Argentina have banned or restricted the use of glyphosate.  In Argentina, 30,000 doctors demanded the prohibition of glyphosate because it is associated with cancer, birth defects, skin diseases, respiratory illnesses and neurological disease. In November 2017 Emmanuel Macron announced France will issue an outright ban within the next three years. Australia must now join growing international action to ban or restrict the use of glyphosate. I’m calling on the Federal Government to develop a consistent set of national guidelines, restrictions and regulations on how glyphosate is used until a viable alternative is found. Can you help me send a message to Canberra? The need to protect the Australian public from associated health risks is urgent. Australians deserve peace of mind that measures are being taken to ensure the areas in which our pets and children play are safe.  It’s time to get serious about addressing the causes of cancer. The Australian Government must act immediately and restrict the use of glyphosate in public spaces in Australia.

Zara D'Cotta
56,815 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
43,640 supporters
Petitioning David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources​ David Littleproud MP

Protect our vegetable seed supply from toxic fungicide treatments becoming mandatory .

The hole in our food security is about to get a lot bigger, our seed supply is under threat!  You may not be aware that over 98% of Australia’s vegetable seed is imported. Australia has virtually no vegetable seed industry of its own, which leaves us very exposed to the future and our ability to quickly adapt to the changing and variable climate.  The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources through the Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON) is changing the import rules in a way that is only visible to ‘stakeholders’. This process is invisible to the wider Australian community. On the surface it appears to accept submissions but it has no accountability to explain why it makes the final choices it does. I believe that as a result of these changes, we are at risk of losing something very precious, our vegetable biodiversity and with it, our future food security. The general focus of the quarantine revisions taking place is to make Australia ‘safe’ from possible pests and diseases. This is clearly a worthwhile thing to be doing, it is the way it is being done that may lead down a road that many of us find very undesirable. Last November-December the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources reviewed the Cucurbits (Pumpkins, Squash, Watermelon, Rockmelon, Zucchini, Cucumber), the result was greatly increased testing and therefore increased costs but the real problem was the requirement for a mandatory systemic fungicide treatment on all rockmelon and honeydew seed. This means that other than hybrid seed imported by Monsanto and other multinational seed companies that heirloom open-pollinated melon seeds are no longer being imported. Australia now has all the cultivars that we will probably ever have in the country. Those that are not being saved and sold commercially will gradually disappear over time. Why? Because all Australian-owned small seed businesses pack seed either by hand or using small machinery. This puts the fungicide dust in close proximity to the people handling it daily. This is a completely unacceptable risk to the health of these workers. Now it is the Brassicas turn and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has already suggested it intends to impose besides a range of tests, a mandatory systemic fungicide treatment on all Brassica seed including Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Mizuna, Radish, Rocket, Tatsoi and Turnip (Mustard and Cress need testing but no mandatory treatment). Read here for info http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/risk-analysis/plant/brassicaceous-crop-seeds The first impact on any organic seed supplier, is that they won’t be able to maintain an organic seed supply to growers, or even maintain their organic certification. Seed suppliers are asking Australian Certified Organic (ACO) to confirm what the impact on the organic growers will be. There is no doubt these changes will massively reduce the range of open pollinated, pesticide-free seed. In the last decade or so we have seen a vastly increased number of school gardens, community gardens, farmer’s markets, young people getting into farming and growing. An inspiring food revolution with a richness of interesting greens, heirloom and ethnic vegetables has also been taking place. These regulatory changes will impact all of this positive change and possibly send family-owned seed companies to the wall, leaving our food supply wholly in the hands of just 2 or 3 massive international seed companies. It will greatly increase the cost of seed for seedling growers and small acre farmers. Home gardeners will be left with a greatly reduced range of choices.  Action is needed ·        The deadline for submissions needs to be extended, as so few people who will be impacted by this change are even aware of it. A change of this magnitude should have involved publicity in nation-wide newspapers to alert the community. ·        An organically acceptable fungicide treatment for seed is needed as an alternative to the mandatory systemic fungicide treatment. This would allow organic growers and organic seed companies to maintain their organic accreditation, protecting the valuable, expanding organic industry in Australia. The deadline for submissions on these proposed changes is the 19th of April 2018. Make your submission here, no matter how long or short it will help. https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/brassicaceous-crop-seeds

Frances Michaels
40,266 supporters
Petitioning Scott Morrison, Daniel Andrews, David Littleproud, Julie Collins MP, Anthony Albanese MP

PETS DYING IN AUSTRALIAN QUARANTINE DUE TO LACK OF CARE

INTRODUCTION  The Department of Agriculture has recently acknowledged that increasing numbers of pets are dying at their government run PEQ (Post Entry Quarantine) facility which is located in Mickleham, Victoria. This Australian tax payer funded facility, is the only one in the entire country and houses tens of thousands of pets arriving into Australia every year for their mandatory 10 day quarantine period. How many pets are losing their lives while undergoing quarantine? It is unknown as PEQ are protected from the Australian Freedom of Information Act 1982. However, we can’t help but wonder how many deaths could have been preventable, had the right level of care and procedures been put into place. The Department has failed in their duty of care and responsibility to the Australian public by not providing veterinarian care facilities required to keep pets healthy during their time in PEQ.Unfortunately, this immoral oversight, can quickly turn into a cruel nightmare for pets and their owners. In addition, a deceased pet cannot be released to the grieving family and PEQ are unable to provide cremation services and release the ashes to their distraught owner.  THE ISSUES The key issues that need to be addressed are: PEQ is staffed only by biosecurity and husbandry staff. There are no veterinarians or vet nurses in-house. Pets are left unattended for 170 hours (17 hours per day) with staff availability only between the hours of 8am and 4pm. Pets arriving from long international flights can be waiting as long as up to 48 hours for the initial PEQ health check when immediate attention may be required. To quote the department of Agriculture “International travel can cause them to de-stabilise and rapidly deteriorate.” Stressed animals are likely to suffer from unwillingness to eat or drink during their stay. Key care decisions are put on owners (who may be travelling or in a different time zone), meaning significant potential for delays in the provision of life saving care. Same day emergency external vet availability is not guaranteed (and is often unlikely) and they can only attend during 8am and 4pm due to PEQ staffing hours. On-site diagnostic tools, surgical facilities, and even basics, such as IV drips are not available. PEQ is mandatory and there are not alternatives within Australia. To think that a critically ill and/or dying animal is experiencing extreme discomfort, pain and suffering during the long period of unsupervised hours is not only unfathomable but unquestionably animal cruelty! These animals are already suffering from stress and separation anxiety from their owners and it is not uncommon for pets in PEQ to be depressed and go off their food which in itself is dangerous, especially for smaller animals.  Even during the supervisory hours, PEQ staff are heavily reliant on the pet owner's ability to organise a vet. In a large majority of cases, pet owners are still overseas in a different time zone or uncontactable due to being on a flight to Australia. The owners in our experience are required to frantically search the names of emergency vets and a lot of the time, these vets are fully booked, or cannot get out to the animal the same day as PEQ closes at 4pm and therefore do not cater to the veterinarian’s schedule. Some of our members have been told a vet cannot go out on the Saturday, and the animal has gone at least three days before having access to veterinary care.  What if a pet requires emergency life saving surgery with no veterinarian hospital available onsite?  We strongly argue that every animal deserves the right to be rushed to a vet when it gets sick (as would be the case outside of PEQ) to be immediately alleviated of it’s symptoms. To have access to life saving surgery, fluids, around the clock veterinarian supervision when critically ill and to be humanely euthanized, should it be essential; instead of suffering a slow and very painful death. The department has always negated the responsibility of providing adequate health care by suggesting a pet owner should reconsider flying their pets, if they have underlying health conditions. All the while readily accepting pets that require medication and have pre-existing health issues. This is extremely weak reasoning on the department’s part. The bottom line is that all veterinarians are legally required to sign off that the pet(s) in question are fit to fly. A lot of our members have flown to Australia with pets who are considered elderly and have medical issues including being diabetic and have successfully completed their time in quarantine.  Flying a young animal with no pre-existing conditions is no guarantee that an animal won’t fall sick during quarantine and won’t require emergency care, as once an animal takes sick, it can go down hill very quickly. Especially in the case of smaller animals, where this could be a lot less than 17 hours. The department of Agriculture might want to callously view people’s pets as nothing more than potential bio- specimens but to their owners they are very muched loved members of their family. Our members spend thousands of dollars to ship their pets back to Australia. They go through very strong emotions of stress, anxiety and guilt, worrying about their wellbeing and safety. To PEQ, these pets might mean nothing but to their owners they mean absolutely everything.  There is no competition for Australian PEQ, as government policy does not allow for the privatisation of this service. Which means that a poor level of service does not result in a negative impact on PEQ, unlike in a free market. Due to a common occurrence of pets going off the food provided by PEQ, pets are going days without eating, therefore requiring being seen by a vet. It can take several days for our members to have food deliveries sent to PEQ and some have resorted to sending Uber Eats roast chickens to their starving pets. When considering these issues, it is important to take into account the adverse psychological (and potentially financial) impacts of confronting PEQ staff with suffering animals and providing them with almost no ability to help. This will cost the consumer and government significantly, as well as further impact animal care, due to nothing more than ill conceived Department of Agriculture governance.  The Department of Agriculture is broadly exempt from the freedom of information act, making it able to hide statistics and data pertaining to the health and welfare of imported animals. It also allows the department to avoid answering direct questions relating to care. This obfuscates key information and restricts improvements to services that are mandatorily forced on Australians returning home with their animals. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE It’s absolutely vital that PEQ hire in-house veterinarians and vet nurses to be able to attend to a sick animal without delay. This would include building a small veterinary emergency hospital on site that provides 24 hour emergency veterinary care with operating facilities, X-ray, ultrasound and basic diagnostic equipment as well as the ability to provide around the clock supervision for critically ill animals.  Provide reasonable veterinary costs or government supplements, inline with what’s being charged in the community i.e. not overcharging. Reduce the time required to perform initial health checks when animals arrive into PEQ from the unacceptable  “up to 48 hours “ to immediately! These animals have endured long international travel and there is no limit to the immediate attention they may require!  Hire overnight husbandry staff to provide continuous supervision round the clock for pets as periods of up to 17 hours without supervision is unacceptable.  Simplify the import processes in order to:Reduce the stress on owners and petsAllow for treatments that meet requirements and are less likely to cause allergic reactions (eg. For flea and tick treatments). Make processes more reliable/predictable, being more in-line with NZ processes. PEQ needs to provide options and proactive measures to address common complaints, such as pets not eating the food provided. This could include (and not be limited to) staff being enabled to collect a variety of meals and add the cost to the final bill. PEQ should hire in-house groomers for animals that require grooming due to medical or biohazard reasons. Allow for at least one option: Ensure that PEQ must adhere to the Freedom of Information Act in order to publicise successes and failures alike. Allow for privatisation of PEQ facilities specifically for the importing of pets in multiple locations across Australia. Collaboration with the Victorian government to ensure pet owners (or an appropriate representative) can collect their animals when the when border movement is restricted. Please note that PEQ is currently booked several months in advance, so there is significant demand to be able to address concerns around costs. FUNDING  PEQ is a state of the art facility that cost Australian taxpayers a whopping $379 million to build!  They have 144 hectares to monetise not only with dog and cat quarantine but also compounds for plants (complete with laboratory testing) and multiple compounds for animals such as bees, avian, ruminant, horses including big money from racing horses! Given the revenue they already receive. It’s reasonable to assume they have the budget to implement our suggestions. Especially taking into consideration when comparing costs and facilities in New Zealand, which provide a better, more consistent service and adhere to the same level of governance and regulation as the Australian facility. RESOURCES https://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/industry-advice/2021/172-2021 https://petsflyingtoaustralia.com  

Pets Flying to Australia
25,414 supporters