Decision Maker

James Merlino

  • Minister for Education, Victoria

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Petitioning Luke Donnellan

Hit and Run drivers should lose their Licence automatically.

In October 2017 our son Tyler was taken from us by the actions of a Hit and Run driver whilst he was out riding his bike with a friend. Thankfully the driver was caught, but was just as quickly let out on bail with no conditions. Most astonishingly, he did not have his licence suspended until the outcome of his court case, as there is currently no legislation in place to allow this.  Overall, a person can be ten feet from pulling into their driveway and be pulled over. If they have been speeding excessively or had a few too many drinks they automatically lose their licence after miraculously making it home safely. This is a good thing, BUT, you can kill someone with your car, drive off and leave your innocent victims broken, dead or dying body laying by the side of the road and you get to walk away, live your life, have a child, celebrate birthdays and Christmases for up to, or over, a year whilst the courts process the case. The amount of Hit and Runs over the last few years has increased and the penalty needs to increase with it. It is a cowards crime and the victims families deserve to see that the law takes it seriously from the very first day. The drivers are entitled to bail but they have lost the right to drive a car when they have shown so little respect for others lives. Its hard enough that we have to live without our beautiful son but our pain is so much worse when we see the Driver nonchalantly living his life in our small town, whilst we have lost so much.  Please, change the legislation in honour of Tyler Dean and all the other innocent victims of Hit and Run drivers. For the ones who lived, and the beautiful angels who didn't. Thank you

Jeynelle Dean
33,645 supporters
Petitioning Daniel Andrews, Lisa Neville MP, James Merlino, Ben Carroll MP, Jill Hennessy MP, Gabrielle Williams MP

Rape victims like me are being failed by Victoria Police

My name is Lena*. I was raped by a family member of a former senior member of Victoria Police. I was forced to report the crime to a station an hour away from where I live and where officers were likely to know my rapist's family. After reporting it to police, I was told to consider the effect my allegations would have on my rapist’s future and that they "usually deal with more serious cases". After failing to collect critical evidence properly, and pressuring me to retract my statement, they dropped the case.  When I made a formal complaint, I felt it was not taken seriously and it was simply sent back to the police station concerned to deal with. My experience with Victoria Police significantly exacerbated the toll that the assault had taken on my mental health, studies, and finances. Since starting this petition, I have been contacted by numerous women with similar stories of botched police investigations and unacceptable police attitudes towards victims. I’m asking the Victorian Government to: Ensure all police members are aware that crimes  can be investigated by any Victorian police station where there is likely to be bias or conflict of interest. In order to prevent corruption, it should be made an offence for Police to use equipment to collect evidence without knowing how to use the equipment. Police failure to collect critical evidence, or "losing" evidence, should be automatically and immediately investigated by an independent anti-corruption body. Establish an INDEPENDENT body to investigate ALL alleged police misconduct. Police should not be investigating themselves. Fund trained social work professionals at all police stations to guide victims of crime through the legal processes, to support them, and to provide information and crisis counselling. Many countries have this model and I believe it would also help to ensure police respond appropriately to sexual assault as there would be a witness to the conduct of the police. Please don’t let the hell I have been through be in vain. Please sign my petition demanding a system that no longer fails rape victims.

lena M
21,694 supporters
Petitioning Victorian Building Authority, Daniel Andrews, James Merlino, Richard Wynne

Ask our leaders to keep winter shelters open!

Victorian Building Authority leaves homeless in the cold Please note, if you would like to support Stable One financially, click here. Donations asked for after you sign go to and are not received by Stable One. Numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Australia are increasing. On any given day, approximately 25,000 people in Victoria are sleeping rough, or living in emergency or unsafe accommodation (DHHS). In the Yarra Valley, more than 300 people are experiencing homelessness, with many sleeping in the park, in cars or in doorways due to the lack of crisis accommodation Stable One is a registered charity that works with local churches, using buildings that would otherwise be empty at night to provide shelter to people experiencing homelessness. In addition to a safe, warm place to sleep, churches offer guests a warm meal, resources and company. Run by around 200 trained volunteers, the Winter Night Shelter fills a critical gap in our social safety net - readily available, safe accommodation at no cost to the government.  On the 21st of August 2019, the Winter Night Shelter was shut down by Yarra Ranges Council because churches had not obtained new occupancy permits for their buildings to classify them as ‘accommodation’.  If planning minister Richard Wynne’s intention is to “make sure the places people sleep are safe”, then the only practical solution is to allow churches to open their doors to the homeless. How is the street a safer place to sleep than a church? It’s time to call upon the Victorian Government and the Victorian Building Authority to allow churches to operate winter shelters without changing their occupancy permits, so that they can continue to support some of Australia’s most vulnerable.  Sign now and make a difference! Please note, if you would like to support Stable One financially, click here. Donations asked for after you sign go to and are not received by Stable One. Find out more about Stable One 

Stable One Ltd
7,752 supporters
Petitioning James Merlino, Richard Wynne, Cr Noel Cliff, Cr Mike Clarke, Cr Tim Heenan, Cr Tony Stevenson, Cr Terry Avery, Cr Jim Child, Cr Richard Higgins, Cr Fiona McAllister, Cr Len Cox

Save Sherbrooke's Iconic Avenue of Beeches

Developers Shannon Bennett and Adam Garrison submitted a last minute proposal at an Independent Planning Panel hearing in December 2017 which outlined their intention to remove 13 of the National Trust listed Beech trees that line Sherbrooke Road in order to accommodate driveway and road widening works at the entrance to the Burnham Beeches Estate.  This proposal was vehemently opposed by multiple community members who presented at the Panel hearing, citing the importance of the retention of the trees, of which the property is renowned and derives its name, as they form an iconic part of the Sherbrooke landscape and are of highly significant heritage value. The National Trust and Heritage Victoria also expressed their concerns at the possible removal of these trees due to their significance, and the fact that it is the only Avenue of Copper Beeches on the National Trust’s Significant Tree Register, with only 4 other individual Beech specimens classified in Victoria. This issue has also received much local media attention as a result of the contentious nature of the proposal. An alternate proposal was presented to the Panel members at the hearing in December, compiled by a Traffic Engineer contracted by Council, which slightly lowered the amount of Beech trees to be removed to approximately 10 trees. This alternate proposal was touted as a 'solution' to the tree Beech issue, despite the high number of Beeches that would still require removal to accommodate this alternate layout. The Panel members final recommendation was that further investigations be conducted by Council and the developers to establish whether additional alterations could be made to the driveway and road widening layout to potentially increase the amount of Beech trees to be retained - "where possible". The Panel members recommendation included a statement which added that if no solution could be found with regards to the retention of the Beech trees, after these additional investigations had been conducted, then the Council's alternate layout should be implemented, which would still see approximately 10 of the National Trust listed Beeches removed. No formal investigations have been conducted by the Council and/or the developers regarding possible alternate driveway and road works layouts in order to retain the Beech trees since the Panel hearing in December last year. A Yarra Ranges Council meeting was conducted on the 27th of March this year at which Councillors voted in favour of allowing the developers joint planning scheme amendment and planning permit application to be forwarded to Planning Minister Richard Wynne's office for final approval. This was despite the fact that no further investigations had taken place, or finalised plans implemented, regarding the driveway and road widening works, and subsequent potential Beech tree removal. The Councillors essentially voted in favour of seeking the Minister's approval first, and then conducting these investigations after the fact if the Minister approves the amendment. The amendment has now, very recently, been forwarded to the Minister's office by Council. If Minister Wynne chooses to approve the amendment in its current state, he would be signing off on the premise that he is comfortable with the Council and the developers coming to a finalised version of the driveway, road works, and consequent Beech tree removal without the need for him to know what the finalised layout would actually consist of and how many Beech trees would be impacted as a result. He would essentially be putting trust in the Council and the developers to come up with a suitable finalised plan, with faith that they will do their best to retain the Beech trees "where possible"... There is also a small possibility that the Minister may be hesitant in giving his approval on the amendment at this stage without this important information having been provided and without this issue having been first resolved. We are of the opinion that the Minister should not sign off on the amendment until further investigations have taken place and a finalised plan, in relation to the Beech trees and road and driveway widening works, is submitted to his office. As opposed to simply putting trust in the developers and Council to make this decision after the fact, which in many ways comes across as a 'cart before the horse' approach to what is a highly contentious and important issue. Please sign to show your support, and feel free to comment why this matters to you, we won't let them destroy our beautiful area.

Dylan Arnold
5,431 supporters
Petitioning Daniel Andrews, Hon Martin Pakula, James Merlino, Marlene Kairouz, Bridget McKenzie

Ban Greyhound Racing in VICTORIA

There is lots of controversy about whether or not Greyhound Racing should exist. But I'm going to break it down to you on why it should be banned completely in Victoria and why I need YOUR help to end the cruelty. Australia represents the 3rd largest greyhound racing industry in the world. The Victorian Government is expressing that they have no plans on banning greyhound racing in Victoria - but we want to change that. The industry is responsible for animal cruelty, corruption, over-breeding, and the use of illegal drugs.  Between 13,000 and 17,000 healthy young dogs are killed each year by the greyhound racing industry in Australia. And the industry ADMITTED this themselves. The industry has failed to reform a way to stop the constant mistreatment of these beautiful animals. This is not something you can improve by legislation; it has to be removed completely for the sake of all animals. Most racing greyhounds will die before their 5th birthday. Piglets, possums and rabbits are used as LIVE baiting. Don't believe this? Watch Four Corners: Making A Killing. You will be shocked. Greyhounds are at risk of broken legs and severe head injuries while on the track and when they are training. Some ex-racers go into breeding programs, but will usually be killed when they are just 5-6 years old. Animals Australia reported in January 2015 that WA trainer Linda Britton was suspended for 18 months after doping dogs with anabolic steroids. But she was then given the WA's Number 1 Trainer just a few days after her suspension.  Approximately 200 dogs are reported injured during races every week in Australia. Animals Australia stated that on average around 5 dogs are killed at official races each week as a result of greyhound racing. To find more information and facts, please visit these What you can do to help:Don't bet on the greyhounds at any venue or online. Sign this petition so I can send it off to the Minister of Racing and our Premier of Victoria.

Jemma C
4,013 supporters
Petitioning James Merlino, Gayle Tierney, Luke Donnellan, Jill Hennessy, Martin Pakula, Gabrielle Williams, Tim Richardson, Daniel Andrews, Victorian Principals Association, Australian Education Union - Vic Br...

Remove Reading Recovery & Leveled Literacy Intervention from Victorian State Schools.

PROVEN METHODS OF LITERACY EDUCATION FOR VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS Reading and writing are essential skills that our children will need throughout their lives and they deserve to be taught using the best evidence-based methods.  Dyslexia Victoria Support (DVS) and Code Read Dyslexia Network Australia Ltd (Code Read) and Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA) and AUSPELD (inclusive of all State SPELD entities) call upon the Minister for Education, for the sake of our children, to remove programs such as Reading Recovery and Leveled Literacy Intervention from Victorian public schools. DVS and Code Read represent parents and others who have been impacted by dyslexia. Approximately 10 to 16% of students are thought to have learning difficulties, including dyslexia, with 4% being severely affected. Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty, where there are problems with accurate and fluent word reading and/or poor spelling. Persons with dyslexia can, however, learn to read, spell and write with appropriate educational support.  Measures that help dyslexics also help other children to read, write and spell: EFFECTIVE READING INSTRUCTION Much money has been spent on literacy, but not necessarily in the right ways.  Reading Recovery is a literacy program widely used in Victorian schools that has been heavily criticised.  In 2017 the New South Wales government abandoned the compulsory use of Reading Recovery in government schools: LITERACY ANDNUMERACY STRATEGY 2017–2020 and DVS and Code Read request that the Victorian government do the same.  In place of Reading Recovery, the Victorian government should provide access for ALL children to programs that use an explicit structured approach to the teaching of reading – see LEARNING DIFFICULTIES AUSTRALIA (LDA)    Another program - the Leveled Literacy Intervention - has also been used in Victorian schools but is not supported by the research evidence and should not be funded in Victorian government schools. DVS and Code Read urge the Victorian government: to seek advice on the research evidence relating to effective approaches to the teaching of initial reading from organisations such as DVS, CODE READ and LDA, and also from researchers and academics who have relevant expertise in this field of research; and to avoid practices which are not supported by the research evidence, including Reading Recovery and the Leveled Literacy Intervention, which do not conform to the principles of structured literacy programs and whose effectiveness has been called into question by the research evidence. Dyslexia Victoria Support Code Read Learning Difficulties Australia AUSPELD    

Dyslexia Victoria Support (DVS)
2,504 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull MP, Daniel Andrews, James Merlino, Gayle Tierney

Urge the government help stranded Sage students and make the directors of Sage accountable

Please do not let us spiral into the abyss of hopelessness. Many students are going to lose all their hard work of the past 1-2 years without gaining a certificate of completion because of Sage Institute of Educations liquidation. The Australian Council for Private Education Training (ACPET), said they will help where possible. Victorian Training Minister Gayle Tierney said the state government would support all affected students and help them complete their training elsewhere.All Registered Traning Organizations, that have been contacted by students said, without a statement of attainment from Sage, students have to redo all work and the 240 hours of placement all from scratch,  students can not start off from where Sage left them. That is the entire year's work, for which we have invested much time, money, effort, and sleepless nights. Many of us went through terrible ordeals in our lives and commenced this certificate course as a last strand of hope to fight back and do something worthwhile in our lives. It took a lot of courage and mental strength to begin this journey. Leaving us nowhere (even though many are at the verge of finishing) without the certainty of a certificate of completion would throw us back into depression and anxiety, and pave our paths back to Centrelink indefinitely. Who is going to listen to each of our stories?  Will you help us get something that we have rightfully earned? With your support, we want to appeal to the Government to step in by funding Sage institute's trainers and assessors to continue until all the current Sage students complete their qualification. This will allow us to join the workforce soon, boosting the economy, improve our mental health, coming out of Centerlink, and save a lot of taxpayers’ money in the long run.  We also humbly request that the Australian Government plan a safety net for students in the future from a similar fate and make a sound policy about liquidations and intermediate processes for education institutes, such as mandatory insurance, paying for the trainers until the students finish their qualifications.

Sage students
2,205 supporters
Petitioning Nillumbik Council, Danielle Green, Bruce Rankin, Jane Ashton, Grant Brooker, NFNL , AFL Victoria, James Merlino, Herald Sun, The Age, leader newspapers, Yarrambat Primary School, Yarrambat Phantoms...

Fix Yarrambat Oval for local junior football #community #kidsfootball #auskick #500kids

Yarrambat War Memorial Park has been the home to Yarrambat Junior Football Club for approximately 40 years. The club itself has approximately 500 junior members who use  the oval on a weekly basis from April to September each year. This year the club has fielded 17 teams and has a large Auskick clinic catering for 120 Auskickers and a growing girls membership with 3 girls teams being fielded in 2019. The club co tenants the facility with Plenty Valley Cricket Club who has installed turf wickets in the center of the ground for its Summer cricket season over the past 5 years. Whilst these wickets work extremely well in Summer for the cricket club when it comes to the football season the center section of the oval becomes a clay pit of mud that makes playing the game of football virtually impossible. Opposition teams post photos on their facebook pages highlighting the "horrendous" conditions that they had to play football in @ YJFC. The football club would like the Nillumbik council to take action to find a solution to the maintaining of the public facility so that the 500 local junior members are able to play the sport they love without being compromised with a sub standard facility during the football season. The football club understands that we must all co exist and as an executive team we want to however the needs of  500 local junior members who just want a facility that allows them to play football at a local club that has been part of the community for 40 years must be a priority.

2,078 supporters
Don't ignore kids driven to suicide from homophobic bullying – provide victims counselling

Bullying will not be tolerated in our schools. All children and young people have a right to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their background, disability or sexual orientation The allegations raised in this case are deeply concerning and I have asked the Department to investigate. All schools must have in place policies and procedures to prevent bullying and to ensure the safety and well-being of students. There are a range of expert services and supports available to students who are victims of bullying within schools such as student wellbeing coordinators, chaplains and through School Services Support Officers, such as psychologists, social workers and guidance officers. I am pleased that Nathan is currently in school and continuing his education. This clearly demonstrates his resilience and courage in extremely difficult circumstances.

4 years ago