Decision Maker

Kelly O'Dwyer

  • Minister for Revenue and Financial Services

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Petitioning Kelly O'Dwyer

Kelly O'Dwyer: don’t allow paedophiles to avoid paying victims compensation

The ex-Bega Cheese CEO, Maurice Van Ryn, sexually assaulted my children over a number of years. This predator was sentenced to 18 years jail — but now he may successfully avoid paying compensation to his 9 victims. My children need constant psychological care to heal the wounds caused by this man. And all his victims need to be able to access ongoing, specialist support. But the former multi-millionaire CEO is using an absurd law that means he can avoid paying victims compensation from money sitting in his self-managed superannuation account. Under current Australian Superannuation Legislation, a person cannot be forced to draw down upon their superannuation. Even if a court orders Van Ryn to compensate his victims, he can legally refuse to use his superannuation to do so. It means he’s able to protect his fortune while leaving his victims to suffer further without compensation. Surely those who wrote the Superannuation Act and the politicians that voted on it never expected it be used as a mechanism for paedophiles to hide their money and avoid compensating their victims? These laws can be changed to deal with such injustices; in recent years laws were changed to give access to superannuation in divorce settlements. We need your help. My children and other victims of this predator need on-going care and compensation — I’m asking Kelly O’Dwyer to change the law so the rights of child sexual offenders aren’t put ahead of their victims. Please sign and share our petition today to help get justice for our families. Thank you. Ken (pseudonym required due to court non-publication orders)Father of Van Ryn Victims

Ken Steele
21,287 supporters
Petitioning Kelly O'Dwyer

Help us help Will Cookesley

Most of you who are reading this will be aware of the hardships Will has faced in the last 22 months, that's 691 days.  Our story is long. It began on 01.01.2016 when a 27-year-old fit, healthy, ambitious, hardworking, happy, successful bloke had a tragic accident. He fell from a balcony of over 4 metres in height directly on to his head. He suffered a diffuse, axonal, severe traumatic brain injury. He required immediate surgery to release the swelling of his brain, where they remove the skull. And at the same time, they attempted to repair the numerous facial and head fractures which took over 8 hours. At the end of the surgery, they gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. He spent 3 weeks in ICU in a coma of which he remained in a vegetative state for 9 months on the neurological ward at the Alfred Hospital. 9 months of hell. 9 months of surgeries, infections, admissions to the ICU, spasticity casting on his legs, arms and fingers for contractures, many many invasive procedures and operations to try and save his life. Followed by 10 months of tireless, painful, arduous therapy at the Acquired Brain Injury Unit at the Caulfield Hospital, and most recently, relentless, continuous, and progressive rehab in the Transitional Living Service that is affiliated with the Caulfield Hospital. Now, as if he hasn't gone through enough we face one of our biggest battles yet.  The Australian Government is in the process of changing their disability funding from The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). But due to the enormity of the transition, they are rolling it out in stages for different councils. Stonnington Council has not yet rolled out to the NDIS. Residents in the Stonnington Council, who were not already funded through the DHHS and have since suffered an injury or illness that has resulted in permanent disability, WILL NOT BE FUNDED until after April 2018. After April 2018, those waiting for funds will wait months to be given a care plan meeting date. Then after the meeting date, a care plan meeting will then take time to process, funds will be then be allocated and we will then wait for the funds to be cleared. This could take us until late 2018. 12 months of waiting.  Our battle? Will is waiting for discharge from his current accommodation at the Transitional Living Service into the community. But we have no access to funding for his next step. As we all know Will has made such incredible progress living in this type of supported accommodation and it has been recommended by all of his Doctors and Allied Health Professionals that Will must progress on to similar support in order for his recovery and rehabilitation to continue.  In order to get funding prior to the NDIS rolling out late next year, you can apply to the DHHS for Disability Support Register to fund will in advance. But, as you can imagine, this in itself is a long and arduous procedure so, therefore, we need our local MP Kelly O'Dwyer to advocate for Will and contact any necessary party involved in the DSR and DHHS so that we can get funding for Will.  WHY WE NEED FUNDING? - ACCOMMODATIONCurrently, Will has no funding for any accommodation for people with disabilities. He cannot return to his apartment as there is no rental assistance to pay his mortgage (as he cannot work) and there is no funding to fund attendant carers to care for him in that environment. It is highly recommended that patients like Will don't return to their parent's house after brain injuries as it inhibits rehab progression and it also makes future accommodation funding requests harder to get (Specialist Disability Accommodation, SDA) - CARE We have no access to care funding whatsoever. The only option is that Mum; Jane, becomes FULL TIME carer with no assistance. - THERAPYWill will have no access to any therapy funding in order to participate in physio, OT, speech therapy, neuropsych, hydrotherapy, etc all necessary at this critical stage in his recovery WHAT CAN YOU DO? You can sign this petition!!! You can contact Kelly O'Dwyer on behalf of our family.OrYou could put us in contact with anyone you may know within our Local Council or anyone you may know in the DHHS WHY? So that Kelly O'Dwyer and the DHHS can see the rally of support behind Will and advocate on behalf of him to grant him DSR funding through the DHHS whilst we wait for the NDIS roll out. Will and the Cookesley's have not tirelessly faught for over 691 days, 22 months, to end up at our critical stage in recovery, like this. If you are in the position to donate financially please visit our GoFundMe page we have set up for Will. Please also note that by donating directly to it is not a donation to Will. It is a donation to to promote our petition to wider communities. If you would like to donate directly to Will please use the link above. Many thanks.  

Luci Cookesley
5,686 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
1,295 supporters
Petitioning Scott Morrison, Michael Keenan, Kelly O'Dwyer, Josh Frydenberg, Michael McCormack

Give the Child Support Agency 'teeth' to force fathers to support their children

Unpaid, part-paid and late-paid child support, together with child support avoidance through income minimisation and the non-lodgement of tax returns, are all significant factors in the financial stress of many families headed by single parents. Many parents who care for children full-time are living in poverty or under considerable financial stress while their former partners - who are not meeting their child support responsibilities - are living a comfortable lifestyle with little or no child-caring responsibility. These issues are heightened where children have costly health or disability issues which add significantly to the average cost of supporting children. This is a gendered form of economic abuse, with families headed by women more at risk of financial strain due to child support non-compliance. For many, this economic abuse is a continuation of family violence. I call on the Federal Government to: 1.  Support women and children subject to economic abuse; 2.  Give the Child Support Agency adequate tools to pursue parents who do not support their children; 3.  Ensure other federal agencies such as Centrelink, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Taxation Office must assist the Agency; and 4.  Make the required legislative changes to achieve these goals. Let's start with an amendment to the Corporations Act disqualifying company directors who owe child supports debts from holding the office of director.  After all, why should a director who cannot manage his own finances be permitted to manage a company's affairs? Why do I care?  Because I am one of many women caring for and financially supporting children (including two with disabilities) without regular and adequate support from my ex-husband, with the Agency powerless to take meaningful action against him. We do not need another inquiry - WE NEED ACTION NOW!

Emma Mackey
1,144 supporters
Petitioning Bridgette McKenzie, Lleu O'Brien, Michaelia Cash, Kelly O'Dwyer, Ged Kearney, Dough Cameron, Jordon Steele-John, Stephen Andrew, Peter Georgiou

Allow nurses to use all their skills to save lives in all states and territories

Depending on which state or territory that the patient becomes ill in, leads to their nurse being able to give them different life saving interventions. For example,if you fall ill on the south side of the NSW/Qld border, an appropriately trained nurse may not be accredited to insert an advanced airway - the gold standard intervention. They may not allowed to use a manual defibrillator to treat your critical heart rhythm - so your treatment is delayed. Both of these examples increase the likelihood of your death. The same nurse, 1 km north in Queensland, with the same qualification can intervene, as long as you have fallen on the north side of the border.  A nurse can be fully trained and qualified in South Australia to use the National Immunisation Handbook, to identify the correct vaccination to give a person, then give it, without a doctor's order.  However, should the step across the border out of South Australia, they cannot access the same Australian Immunisation Handbook,  identify the correct vaccination to give the same child, and cannot give it.  Why, because  the South Australian training is not recognised outside of SA and the NT The training in Victoria is not accepted outside Victoria, and so on.  When a nurse changes state or territory, every qualification except their basic degree must either be repeated, at a cost to them, or different parts of their training is recognised in different states and territories.  The Advance Life Support Level 2 training is the same qualification undertaken by doctors and nurses.  They do the same study, the same exams and must meet the same standards.  However, the nurse can only use different parts of their training in different parts of Australia.  Same nurse, same patient, different location results in different care standards. Immunisation training is on a national handbook, but if you do not pay and train in state, you cannot protect a person from vaccine preventable illnesses.   Australia has a healthcare lottery, that results in the same nurse with the same giving different standards of care because our qualifications are not fully recognised nationally.  Make all qualifications undertaken by nurses nationally recognised, and allow them to use all their skills to improve the health outcomes of all patients, regardless of where they are. 

Frank Morris
963 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
961 supporters
Petitioning Tony Abbott MP, Anthony Albanese MP, Mr John Alexander OAM MP, Dr Anne Aly MP, Karen Andrews MP, Kevin Andrews MP, Adam Bandt MP, Julia Banks MP, Sharon bird mp, Julie Bishop MP, Chris Bowen MP, An...

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, 

Elizabeth Kazon
721 supporters
Kelly O'Dwyer: don’t allow paedophiles to avoid paying victims compensation

GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW RULES FOR EARLY RELEASE OF SUPERANNUATION, INCLUDING VICTIMS OF CRIME COMPENSATION The Turnbull Government has announced that Treasury will review the current rules governing early release of superannuation on grounds of severe financial hardship and compassionate grounds. It will also review whether, and the circumstances in which, superannuation assets should be available to pay compensation or restitution to victims of crime. The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the rules governing early release of superannuation have not changed substantially since 1997. “The superannuation system has come a long way since then. It is time to review the current arrangements as they relate to severe financial hardship and compassionate grounds to ensure they remain fit for purpose,” Minister O’Dwyer said. “This review is one of a range of measures the Government is progressing to ensure that the rules governing superannuation serve the interests of consumers.” An issues paper will be released before the end of this year and the review will make recommendations to Government early in 2018. Terms of Reference for a review of the provisions governing the early release of superannuation benefits Treasury will review whether the current rules governing the early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds and in cases of severe financial hardship (regulations 6.19A and 6.01 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994, respectively) remain fit for purpose. In making recommendations, it will consider whether these rules appropriately balance the need to: • Preserve superannuation benefits to meet the objective of providing income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension; • Ensure that superannuation is available for current consumption in certain, limited cases of genuine hardship or where warranted for compassionate reasons; and • Ensure the rules can be administered fairly and effectively. The review will also consider and make recommendations on whether a perpetrator’s superannuation should be accessible to pay compensation or restitution to a victim of crime; and, if so, the circumstances in which this may be appropriate. The review will not examine other general conditions of release for superannuation. Treasury will report to the Government in March 2018.

1 year ago
Stop the Backpacker Tax

We have listened to you. The Turnbull Government will be undertaking a comprehensive review of seasonal workers, including working holiday maker visa holders. We have also announced that under a re-elected Turnbull Government we will defer the start of the changes to treat all working holiday makers as non-residents for tax purposes from July 1 for six months, pending the outcome of the review process. We recognise that working holiday makers are an important source of labour, and the review of working holiday makers will ensure our labour supply is adequate and Australia remains competitive globally. Following feedback from you and industry experts, the review will consider agricultural and seasonal labour needs, overseas wages and taxes, and opportunities in agriculture and tourism. In contrast Labor has said that they will implement the changes if they are elected, as outlined in the Shadow Treasurer’s speech at the National Press Club last year. For full details of the Turnbull Government’s announcement, including the terms of reference, please follow the link: Kind regards, Kelly

3 years ago