- Minister for Defence
- Minister for Defence
We call on PM Scott Morrison to meet immediately with emergency leaders #attnscottmorrison
Right now across Australia, widespread fires and extreme weather are endangering our people, homes and ecosystems. Nationwide, people’s feelings of fear and anxiety about the future of our country are reaching boiling point. It’s time to get PM Scott Morrison’s attention! Our message is clear: “Dear Prime Minister, we call on you to meet immediately with emergency leaders including Greg Mullins (former Fire & Rescue Chief)”. You can add your voice to this message by taking two simple steps: 1) Sign this petition and hit 'Share' 2) Use the hashtag #attnscottmorrison when you post images of the current fire emergencies across Australian states, along with the petition link. This is how you can tell your Prime Minister that you want him to meet with emergency experts to discuss firefighting resources, climate action and a national emergency summit! We understand that the priority right now for many Australians is, and must be, to remain vigilant and safe. So this call out is for those of us who have capacity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with affected communities. As Hon. Jacinda Arden says, “we have to start moving beyond signs of hope, and deliver signs of action”. Please sign and share today! #attnscottmorrison ----------------------------------- Suggested short Social Media post to accompany images of fire affected areas: #attnscottmorrison Right now our country is burning. Our home is on fire and only action will put out the flames. As an Australian, I call on you @scottmorrisonmp to meet immediately with emergency leaders, including Greg Mullins. It’s time for leadership and action to keep Australia safe. ------------------------------------- An additional note on donations made via Change.org: The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness and communicate a call to action, not to raise funds. As campaign organisers, we are not collecting funds donated through this portal. We appreciate your support to date and if you're eager to make a financial contribution to affected communities, we suggest that you donate directly to a cause via their website.Below are links to the organisations that we've prioritised throughout the campaign. Read on to find what you're most aligned with as an individual: - Donate to the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action - Donate Blood to the Australian Red Cross - there is an urgent need due to the fires - Donate to the NSW & QLD fires at the Australia Red Cross - Donate to Koalas In Care - Donate to the Koala Hospital - Donate to the WIRES Emergency Fund - Become a Wildlife Carer Additional Resources: - Read the Climate Council’s Bushfire Briefing Paper here - Stay up to date on the NSW Fires Near Me site & app and the QLD Rural Fire Service site - Find loved ones at Register.Find.Reunite - You can talk to someone at any time at Lifeline on 13 11 14 - Resources for Teachers and Parents on how we can talk about emergencies with children and young people are up on the Australian Red Cross site here. A note on campaign privacy: Your support and your privacy is invaluable to us. We will not share any names of supporters or signatories without your proactive consent and confirmation of your permission. On the campaign website, Change.org will share your name and that you have signed if you tick the box allowing them to do so. We welcome you to stand alongside us in putting your name to this call to action. We also are so grateful for the meaningful and personal words people have shared with us and the community within the Reasons For Signing section. Thank you, we're hearing you...
Award Teddy Sheean the VC as Recommended by the Tribunal
In July 2019 the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal unanimously recommended to the federal government the award of Australia's highest military honour to Tasmanian Teddy Sheean - the Victoria Cross, also known as the VC. This was the very first time in its history that the tribunal has recommended the award of a VC. But on 13 May 2020 the federal government decided not to accept the recommendation. This is a travesty. Teddy Sheean is a hero and the government should accept the recommendation of its own panel of experts. Sheean was just 18 years old when he left his home in north-west Tasmania to join the Navy and fight in World War II. He died defending HMAS Armidale from Japanese warplanes off the coast of what is now known as East Timor, only one year after he enlisted. With the ship going down, the wounded young sailor strapped himself to an anti-aircraft cannon and fired at the attacking planes. He is credited with helping save 49 of his ship's crew before he went down with the ship. The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal was established to independently consider honours and awards outside of the Australian Defence Force. Its members include lawyers, historian and veterans. It is unacceptable and un-Australian that the government would ignore its own panel of experts and deny a young hero the recognition he deserves. Brigadier (retired) Kevin O'Brien, CSC
Stop the witch hunt. Support the SASR and Ben Roberts-Smith.
The Australian SASR is an elite regiment of the Australian Army. Their job is to deploy into the hottest of hot spots to take the fight to people deemed to be a threat to this country. SASR members are family men, who routinely deployed to Afghanistan and other extremely hostile places in order to do a job that the vast majority of people cannot do. They are the heroes that you very rarely hear about. Among them was a man called Ben Roberts-Smith VC. The most highly decorated soldier to have served in the Australian Military in recent years. Ben Roberts-Smith, and others in the SASR have recently become subject to a "Trial by Media" for actions taken while deployed in Afghanistan. These heroes should not be subjected to this harassment, second guessing and "armchair quarterbacking". They should be recognised as the heroes that they are, doing a tough job under difficult circumstances, putting their lives on the line repeatedly for the guy beside them, for their mates and for all Australians. You want men like this defending the country. Stop the witch hunt. Support the SASR.
Gulf livestock 1 - Please bring them home!
Please bring our boys home!We are writing to you as the parents, parents in law, wife and family of Lukas Orda, one of the Australian nationals still missing after the sinking of Gulf Lifestock One on September 2. We also include William, the two New Zealand and the 36 men from the Phillipines in our plea. We as the family of Lukas including his parents Sabine and Ulrich Orda are devastated to hear that the search for the missing crew members was stopped last night. We appreciate all the help that DFAT and its staff members have done to support us and the other families. We are also greatly appreciative of the work and dedication of the Japan Coast Guard who risked their lives to save them. However, we cannot understand this decision in light of the following:The Australian Consular Emergency Centre advised us on September 7 that information supplied by the Philippines Consul-General (Osaka) from one of the survivors who was washed overboard (short version):When the engine of the ship failed in the storm the captain called all crew on the bridge in life vests to enter the lifeboats. Three crew could not reach the bridge and were washed overboard. When a big wave hit the ship and pushed it on the side the second survivor was washed off the bridge and lights went off. There is no further information. It is extremely concerning that given this above information that the search would be suspended as this provided evidence that people were unlikely to be trapped on the ship and could be still floating in the ocean awaiting rescue. I am also aware that a second typhoon has swept through the area after finding three crew members, however no one has provided any information to say that this would have changed outcomes for the remaining crew. Currently there has been no sightings of any other dead bodies of the remaining 40 crew, 4 life rafts and 1 lifeboat which still have not been found accounted for. I am under the belief that these vessels self-deploy in the event of a ship going down, so even if not all were freed (dependent upon the way the ship sunk), I ask youwhere are the remaining vessels? Therefore, there is a strong possibility that at least some of the crew members including Lukas and William made it into a missing lifeboat or raft. Yes, a second Typhoon that passed through the search area would have displaced the vessels a relevant distance from the original search area, however we are a nation of people who always strive to succeed in many times overwhelming odds to eventually prevail. Therefore, as parents we implore and you to assist us in getting this search resumed to provide some closure and answers to this tragedy that is affecting our own nationals, our ANZAC partners and Philippines nationals. We help so many other nations especially in our region and I am sure with some discussion we could enlist other nations including our own to continue the search after the Japanese Government has made such a tremendous effort to find our loved ones. We have set the bar high previously with our own searches for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 along with the successful rescue of other seafarers. We in this case do at least have relatively reliable information regarding the last known location of the vessel along with modern technology and satellite equipment to provide a high chance of a better outcome than MH370.
Australia’s C130’s to have Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) capability.
Help equip the heros as we are about to enter 2020. These fires started in August (still in our winter '19). So what are we going to do about it? I propose global best practice as the Fires around the earth are getting larger, as such we need to meet this brains and brawn. I hope with your signature we can effect change quickly! Please read on to understand more. Australia has a fleet of 12 Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules in the Australian Airforce. It is admirable that at moments notice our Defence Force is prepared to use these assets to the aid of persons both in our Region and Globally. America which is a similar size geographically has at least 8 of these planes in their Defence Force that has the ability to be quickly converted from standard Cargo Planes to a Large Air Tankers (LAT). This quick & temporary conversion allows this very useful aircraft to become a Fire Fighting Superweapon! It is done with an off the shelf product called MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighter System) or MAFFS II, which is the newer version. With theses fires still burning strong in NSW & QLD, & still strong in our minds from Victoria, I can only think how can we get all these levels of government to work together & develop this proactive National Defence resource?This capability upgrade to both the Royal Australian Air Force & Australian Defence Force more broadly, should be welcomed & the C-130’s have many other planes that could be tasked to cover their duties such as the C-17 & C27. These National Assets are based out of Richmond Airbase just outside of Sydney and less than two hours flight time from just about anywhere in the country, but can operate locally on very short notice and operate just about anywhere for refill of both water or retardant, even on narrow & unsealed runways and have been known to even do beach landings. It is time to acknowledge that States & Territories should have this capability to draw on, as these #Superfires need a larger response than just what each state has sat on standby for the year. NSW ownes one LAT (Large Air Tanker), which although very helpful to NSW, would be magnificent if backed up by x8 C130’s temporarily equipped with similar capabilities.It is time to reflect & defend Australians against this domestic super threat to homes, families, schools, property, business, livelihoods, community assets, volunteers & paid staff, pets, the Economy & environment just to name a few. The only recent operations for the C130 listed on the Airforce website include:• Op Queensland Flood Assist (2011);• Op Philippines Assist (2013); and• Op OKRA (2014), where C-130Js were used to airdrop humanitarian supplies to Iraqi civilians. Ready to sign? http://chng.it/56KJwwgHSo what is a MAFFS II? Its a device that neatly & quickly slides into the back of the C-130 Aircraft in around 60 minutes & turns it into a tool that can drop +13600L of water or retardant either in one go or with many smaller programmed drops, and the more advanced systems are going to be using GPS to precisely drop it like we would do with weapons, equipment or humanitarian aid. Unlike the gravity systems currently in use, MAFFS can also adjust the saturation from light but long loads to or heavier and shorter runs. Amazingly it’s capacity is around 27 times more than the small helicopters bucket payload of around 500L and it can refill in around 12minutes and re pressurises on the way back to the fire. These aircraft compound in efficiency, so 8 of these can effectively spread kilometres of retardant to take on these #SuperFires as done in California. As a nation we could proactively make a real difference to these effected communities & backup the staff & volunteers on the front lines. Whilst possibly changing real peoples lives in the future. This is a KNOWN DOMESTIC THREAT to Australians, that we cant defend against unless tooled appropriately & as we all know from these fires that they burn for months on end & #supercharge during weather events. I call on Scott Morrison (ScoMo) to make a generational change. That would only take Australia’s C-130 out of their normal standby for a minimal amount of time, whilst delivering better value to ordinary Australians. It would be life-changing for the bush & those metro people living on the every increasing fringe, by having this capability brought to the Australian People. It would help keep Highways & Roads open and the country moving, whilst protecting ordinary Australians. This would quickly supplement the State’s & Territory’s resources with not even a dent into the National budget. In the early stages of a Fire, helping everyone get & stay on top of the situation crucial. (ready to sign yet: http://chng.it/56KJwwgHIf one thing is certain, just as much as tax & changing Prime Ministers, is that every year we are relying more and more on volunteers, asking them to be away from their families & business’, longer at a cost to the economy both small and large business', to fight these fires, whilst our expensive Defence Force is there, fully funded, with crews and maintenance budgeted, yet possibly just on standby for the PM.Now just imagine a squad of +8 of these ADF assets, supporting ALL the States & Territories with being able to supplement their existing rental fleets & be rapidly transformed & deploy as Fire Fighting support aircraft. They can work together spreading lines of retardant effectively choking the fires and supporting the ground crews & Air Assets. Aside from accomplishing the mission in catastrophic or code red high wind conditions, there would have to be some sort of national pride out of this too. Everyone loves low flying planes. After the task is completed of course the planes could be very quickly returned back to their normal duties with pilots that have an enhanced skillset. Well it is to late for this season, the fires are too many and too big, the State Govt is already picking up the account after the NSW RFS Chief declared a localised State of Emergency known in NSW as a Section 44, which essentially opens up that Fire District/s to any and all assets from across the State with minimal budget restriction and it is backed by a 75/25 share split with the Federal Government. So the Federal Government is already contributing to these disasters, so that should make the cost analysis even easier to accomplish. So lastly Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Colombia as all using this in their fight to take on the Amazon & the USA are using it to take on their worst fires in years in California, so is it about time Australia gets back up to global best practice and stops relying on renting more and more aircraft every year? I need your help a❤️ gives much better Facebook presence than just a��and tagging one or two of your friends that do it to you helps spread the cause. Lets call on these people to work together:PM Scott Morrison (ScoMo) , Senator Linda Reynolds , Emergency Service Minister #DavidLittleproud, #RichardAlder from NAFC, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services - QFES NSW RFS NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW Fire and Rescue NSW Bushfire Section, CFA (Country Fire Authority) MFB (Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade), SA Country Fire Service, Fire & Rescue Service of Western Australia, ACT Fire & Rescue ACT Rural Fire Service Tasmania Fire Service, NT Fire & Rescue 4Corners A Current Affair Q&A ABC News 9 News 10 News First 7NEWS Australia The Sydney Morning Herald The Age The Mercury News Herald Sun Brisbane Times Courier Mail InDaily Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party Pauline Hanson's Please Explain Liberal Party of Australia National Party of Australia Australian Labor Party The Australian Greens Katter's Australian Party Senator Jacqui Lambie
Australia will not support a US led war in Iran
Australia should not participate in any United States led military action against Iran. Not only would a military action against Iran be costly, redirecting funds from our vital services, infrastructure and communities here in Australia, it will undoubtedly claim the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen - all for a war that will not make us safer and paint us as a target for stateless terror threats. Current tensions are the direct result of provocations from the Trump administration, whose claims of a nuclear threat from Iran are baseless and run contrary to the routine audits of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who have found Iran compliant with the conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka The Iran Nuclear Deal) . The deal (also signed by China, France, Germany & the EU) has been violated by the United States, who have implemented strangling economic sanctions on the nation and ignored recommendations from the United Nations International Court of Justice to cease . Meanwhile, Iran and Australia have a significant two-way trading relationship, worth $A584 million in the last financial year. False narratives have baited Australia into disastrous, illegal wars such as Vietnam and Iraq in the past. Without an authorising resolution from the United Nations Security Council, any military action against Iran would also be illegal, and orders of magnitude more destructive. This petition demands that our representatives discuss the rising tensions between Iran and the United States in parliament, developing a strategy for de-escalation, and implores that we learn from our past mistakes in blindly supporting the US/Australian alliance at any cost.  https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/19/06/gov2019-21.pdf https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1MD2CP-OCATP Further reading:https://www.michaelwest.com.au/paul-barratt-australia-should-not-participate-in-conflict-with-iran/
Drop the charges against whistleblower David McBride #AfghanFiles
In light of the Defence Dept releasing the report on the Afghan Files investigation it is even clearer that the Government did everything they could to muzzle David McBride. Mr McBride reported internally the information contained in the newly released report and was effectively managed out of the Defence Dept. After he informed some journalists of what he knew this Government had him charged. We now know heinous crimes have been committed by a small number of SAS members and they will face criminal trials and hopefully time in prison. The stench of this Australian Governemnt corruption is strong. The Australian people call on the Attorney General to drop the charges pending against David McBride. Some of us are wondering if the LNP went down this path in order to attempt to protect a current sitting member of Parliament. The Attorney General has already conceded charges against the journalists could not be pursued. It is now time to admit the grave error he made by pursuing David McBride.
No Australian weapons sales to war crime-accused Saudi Arabia
Australian taxpayer's money is being used to help a local company, Electro Optic Systems (EOS), sell weapons systems destined for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a leading party in the Yemen conflict which has seen 85,000 children die since 2015. The UN has found that actions taken by the Saudi and UAE led coalition in Yemen may amount to war crimes. The $36 million to Electro Optic Systems stands in stark contrast to the Australian Government’s contribution to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen which stands at just $23 million in direct funding over almost 4 years of the conflict. Australians are shocked to learn that Australia could potentially be contributing to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. We believe this is an unconscionable and un-Australian use of taxpayer money and that Australia must follow the international move away from military support for Saudi Arabia. We believe Australian weapons systems cannot be ethically provided to a country with Saudi Arabia's track record of war crimes and human rights abuses, regardless of the potential theatre of conflict in which they may be deployed. We, the signatories of this petition, demand an end to Australian Government support for the sale of weapon's systems to Saudi Arabia. We also demand greater transparency on Australian involvement in international arms sales. Please sign and share on your social media / email with as many Australians as possible.
Keep Australian baby formula in Australia
In Australia's supermarkets and pharmacies, there is currently a crisis on the availability of baby formula to domestic consumers as there has been an ongoing spree where customers have been buying stock by the bulk to sell online to foreign nations such as China and left none for needing families in Australia. If this is not handled immediately, there is going to soon be a time where mothers with babies and infants are not going to be able to purchase baby formula on a regular basis for their children. According to a report made by A Current Affair which aired on Thursday evening, 25th October 2018, this has already started to happen. It is a recommendation of those who have signed this petition that baby formula should be labelled a prohibited good by all postal services as well as Australian Federal Customs and therefore banned from being mailed and delivered outside of Australian borders to foreign countries.
“Great bravery in extreme danger” yet denied awards due to “maladministration”!
Following the extensive media articles published on the 24th and 25th September 2017, the Australian public and the national press asked the Governor General to intervene in the matter of the recognition of the bravery for two diggers, Captain Tony Gilchrist and Sergeant Andy Street, who risked their lives on over 180 deadly missions in Iraq in 2005. To date, neither Tony or Andy have heard anything from the Department of Defence or the Governor General. Street and Gilchrist were denied gallantry awards despite the evidence of their outstanding bravery provided from the British and US military, the FBI, Australian Commanders and other key witnesses, one of which was their ‘boss’ in Iraq, Pete Norton GC. Norton was awarded the George Cross for his work alongside Street and Gilchrist. He is the current Chair of the exclusive Victoria Cross and George Cross Association whose members includes the likes of Keith Payne VC and Ben Roberts-Smith VC. Norton knows exactly what constitutes gallantry and bravery in combat. Even the Australian Defence Force’s own Honours and Awards Directorate agreed that both Gilchrist and Street deserved recognition for gallantry. Instead, both men were given somewhat token awards for ‘distinguished service’, identical to those awards given to ADF members deployed in training, administration positions and those in command who do not see combat. The acts of digging by hand for booby-trap explosive devices, searching for bomb components amongst the bodies of 150 civilians killed in a single terrorist atrocity, hunting through crowds for a second suicide bomber immediately after a suicide attack and surviving multiple attempts on their lives including RPGs, buried IEDs, snipers and mortars were just a few of the acts of bravery well above and well beyond that expected of a distinguished service award recipient. This lack of understanding of the roles of Street and Gilchrist in Iraq forced both men to appeal for a review of their service and possibly be considered for gallantry awards. The review process took nearly 10 years through the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (DHAAT). The DHAAT were entirely responsible for the denial of gallantry awards for Andy and Tony. The Tribunal ignored over 1,300 pages of written evidence and oral and written statements given by actual witnesses who served alongside both men in the US-led Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell (CEXC). The Tribunal (which then, and still to this day, contains no member with similar operational ‘on-the-ground’ experience nor any gallantry awards), overruled witness accounts that recommended that Street and Gilchrist deserved medals of gallantry during their time as the “Baghdad bomb-hunters”. The Tribunal ignored the oral evidence provided from Australian Commanders in charge of all Australian troops deployed in the Middle East at the time of Street and Gilchrist’s deployment. Other witness statements that were dismissed were from fellow members of Andy and Tony’s ten-man patrol team, whose UK and US members were awarded a George Cross, a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, a Mention in Dispatches, a Bronze Star, two FBI Shields of Bravery and a FBI Medal of Valour between them. Inexplicably, the Tribunal produced a single, handwritten, unofficial note allegedly written by a high-ranking ‘Australian General’ - with no connection to the men or their unit - that they used to justify the denial of awards. Surprisingly, as the media reports were quick to recognise, the DHAAT reported that they could not identify what constitutes gallantry! So why did they ignore the testimony of the likes of Norton - a soldier awarded the very highest medal for gallantry? ALL the witnesses had much more operational experience of bravery than the entire board of the DHAAT. This is surely not to be ignored when the Tribunal could not even identify what gallantry was? Following the ‘bizarre’ decision of the DHAAT, Street and Gilchrist approached those agencies that are charged with overseeing the conduct of Government organisations such as DHAAT. The Office of the Inspector-General ADF, the Defence Ombudsman, the Directorate of Investigations and Recovery and the Defence Public Interest Disclosure unit were apparently unable to investigate the Tribunal’s decision, citing that the DHAAT was freely able to make decisions that are “…functus officio in respect of this [DHAAT] review, and [they] cannot legally amend or revise this decision…”. This apparent impunity means that the DHAAT is untouchable, despite clear evidence that the Tribunal members may have omitted key information, ignored witnesses, or were subject to external influences in their decision-making process. For example, undisclosed links between the Tribunal board members and the previously mentioned ‘Australian General’ subsequently came to light which questioned the very independence of the Tribunal when it came to Gilchrist and Street. What now? Is it right that both men give up their fight for recognition? Should these two war heroes now pursue actions against the DHAAT in a court of law? Is this even possible? In a further development, as the original Daily Telegraph article noted, Street returned his Commendation for Distinguished Service medal and Certificate to the Governor General, citing that the DHAAT report had confirmed that his medal had been awarded incorrectly due to ‘Defence maladministration’. Despite numerous letters and emails written by Street, the Tribunal and Governor General both appear to refuse to talk to each other, leaving Street frustrated and angry. There is one option left: We can officially request intervention from the Governor General – the person whom is ultimately responsible for Australian honours and awards. For this to happen we need public support. If we can raise a significant number of signatures via Change.org then an official request for a response can be sought. The Governor General is the Commander-in-Chief of the ADF and is Chancellor of the Order of Australia and therefore can make a difference. Please remember that Gilchrist and Street have tried everything they can. Their story has appeared on the front page of national newspapers, has been featured on TV’s Channel 10 News, The Project and ABC’s Four Corners. They have the support from the likes of Senator Jacqui Lambie, the FBI, the US and UK military including the Chair of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association. Both men have already been accepted for gallantry awards by the Defence Honours and Awards Directorate. Gilchrist and Street were recognised by Brendon Nelson - the Director of the Australian War Memorial - as having saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives by risking their own on a daily basis. Despite this, not a single response has been issued from the Governor General, Defence or the DHAAT since the media reports of September 2017. All the Australian, British and American members of the CEXC made a promise to each other. For the men who saved each other’s lives and hundreds of others, they promised that their actions would not be unrewarded. This is our last chance to appeal to the Governor General to recognise the Australians - Tony and Andy – and their acts of gallantry, lest they are forgotten. The media reports are available here: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/hurt-locker-heroes https://www.theage.com.au/national/Baghdad-bomb-hunters https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/ieds-killed--iraq