- Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
- Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Keep Virgin Australia In The Skies
Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison, In Australia, we are lucky to live within a diverse culture with beautiful and vast plains. These spread out across our great country. Unlike other nations, we rely a lot on airlines to provide us with transportation to get around. These trips offer us valuable connections with family, friends, and the opportunity to see and experience unique landmarks, while also providing links to keep our economy moving forward. Since government-imposed restrictions have encouraged people not to fly, we have seen a dramatic fall in demand for air transport. Many will stay home to flatten the curve of COVID-19. We understand that this is important not only for our nations health but the economy in the future. We also know that these are challenging times for people. One of the things we take for granted in this great nation is the viability and competitive nature of our airlines. We are lucky to have two full-service carriers that provide competition and value to Australian travellers and contribute to tourism. One of those is Virgin Australia. Virgin Australia began as Virgin Blue. It took ten years for this airline to compete with its competitor in the full-service category. During this time of development, we saw many innovations introduced to the benefit of the consumer and economy. We have not seen this before, even with the former Australian carrier that folded in March 2002. Virgin Australia has helped: Over 25 million people travel a year. Contribute over $11 billion dollars a year in tourism, which supports over 600,000 people in jobs. Operate to 39 destinations under its domestic and regional airline brand. Provide access to over 450 worldwide destinations through its virtual network Offer travel choice and value for the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, North America and Asia routes. Employ over 10,000 Australians. Hold a ~37% share in the domestic market and put pressure on the competition to introduce two low-cost carriers. Deliver efficiency as recognised with most-on time departure airline for 2018-2019. By getting people to their destination, with least likely airline to cancel your flight in 2019. Community partners including the Starlight Children's Foundation, Greening Australia, Salvation Army, Oz Harvest and many more. Support thousands of more jobs and sectors indirectly. This company has also helped to provide innovation and value in this nation, including: A 37% reduction in airfares since operating. The first successful trial of sustainable fuels at Airports in Australia. The world's first government-certified carbon offset program. The first Australian airline to provide Wi-Fi for guests via LA. The first Australian airline to allow comfort devices on board. The first Australian airline to offer online web check-in for guests. A leading business product for government and corporate Australia in domestic travel. A unique and diverse brand culture that focuses on value for leisure and corporate travelers. Voted as one of the world's top 20 safest carriers around the globe to travel with (AirlineRatings.com) among other awards for Best Cabin Crew for three years in a row and Best Business Class for 2017 and 2018. We know from history that without a competitive aviation industry, many people in our country will not be able to enjoy these valuable connections, particularly in regional communities such as Albury, Mackay, Townsville, Port Macquarie, Mildura, Alice Springs and Darwin. We also know that from history a monopoly benefits no one. It gives too much power to one carrier. This monopoly leads to less innovation and higher airfares for many Australians. Moreover, the idea that another airline will be able to compete and offer the same level of service at this challenging economic time presents an argument that many aviation experts agree is flawed. We know that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) takes 12 months, sometimes years to approve new airline operators to serve a country. We know too that would require a substantial capital investment, which at this time is unlikely to be provided from the private sector—also, the incredible cost and logistics of employee and asset displacement and reallocation. For this reason, we sign this petition to urge you to: Support Virgin Australia by offering the industry assistance it needs, such as a loan which it will pay back in 2-3 years to keep running as Australia's second-largest airline. Or to provide Virgin Australia with a guarantor statement that will allow it to seek financial assistance elsewhere, but give the confidence it needs to achieve financial support. If the airline is unable to pay for the loan (unlikely given post-COVID-19 travel forecasts), then the government would acquire an equity stake that it could sell, similar to when it owned the national carrier for 70 of its 100 years in operation. Other foreign airlines are unlikely to support an Australian airline when they have to protect their own in this uncertainty. CAPA - Centre for Aviation forecasts that without government support, many airlines around the world will go bankrupt. Australia has the chance to invest in a bright future inspired by innovation, collaboration and imagination. The Virgin Group that owns ~10% and has over 60 brands are also less likely to be able to provide more assistance, given many of these businesses have borne the brunt of this storm and have lost more than $400 million in the first few weeks alone. We sign this on behalf of the thousands of people who work for this airline and share a unique family bond that is Virgin Australia. We also do this to support a competitive and robust aviation industry. So that people have the choice and chance to travel, and support tourism for many years to come. Thank you.
Facebook Needs To Be Accountable To Australian Consumer Laws
Facebook have announced a plan to train thousands of small business owners in how to use Facebook marketing and advertising, in an initiative announced in discussions between Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday. According to SBS News the program will be rolled out across Mackay in North Queensland next year before being expanded to additional towns, with 3000 businesses in Facebook's sights. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/11/11/facebook-train-regional-business-owners However, there are numerous reports from people who have taken up offers from Facebook marketing, with promises of reaching tens of thousands customers, but when the final stats come in, only a few hundred views, and a handful of actual engagements with potential customers results. If Facebook offers 7000-18500 views, they should be required to deliver 7000-18500 views. Because they are an overseas based business, with their marketing arm either registered in the US or Ireland, when they instead deliver only a few hundred advert impressions, but charge the full amount, small businesses in Australia who have been duped by their deceptive practices, have no recourse with Australian based Consumer or Business protection organisations. Facebook is offering to “train” Australian businesses in taking up Facebook’s marketing products, at great profit to Facebook. Before that occurs they must be answerable to laws that protect Australian consumers and businesses from shoddy and deceptive practices.
Stop Scott Morrison from banning cash to trap Australians in banks!
Scott Morrison’s Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 is a fraudulent assault on the freedoms of Australians. Banning cash transactions over $10,000 will not end the tax evasion and money laundering of the “black economy”, but will strip individuals of their right to privacy in financial affairs, and trap them in private banks, unable to escape policies such as “bail-in” and negative interest rates. It is outrageous that this cash ban is a recommendation of one of the big four global accounting firms, KPMG, which wrote the 2017 Black Economy Taskforce report and is already lobbying for the limit to be reduced to $2,000. KPMG and its fellow big four firms are complicit in the overwhelming majority of tax evasion and money laundering, which is perpetrated by their clients in multinational banks and corporations, not by individuals using cash. If this cash ban is enacted, the government clearly intends more restrictions, as the law has been drafted so that the exemptions to the ban, such as for withdrawing cash from a bank, can be removed by the Minister at any time. The private banks already impose unreasonable restrictions on the ability of Australians to access their own cash. We the undersigned call on Parliament to: respect the right of Australians to use cash for privacy and as an alternative to the banks; scrap this bill and the cash ban policy; and crack down on the real black economy by going after multinational banks and corporations, the big four accounting firms, and the tax havens.
Google & Apple: stop road deaths and injury from mobile phones
Pictured is my cycling teammate Graham. He was a paramedic and a cyclist. Our team would go cycling every Sunday. Recently, that all changed forever. On one of those cycle trips, a driver became distracted using her mobile. Graham was as far left to the shoulder as he could safely be. But her four wheel drive catapulted him off his bike from behind almost killing him. Graham is now a lifelong paraplegic. This picture is the day he was released from hospital 6 months after the accident. He is devastated. It’s heartbreaking. He recently said: "It's the simple things in my life that I miss the most, like holding my wife's hand when we go for a walk. I miss a full body hug.” His life had changed forever. All because the driver was distracted while using their mobile phone. 70% of drivers now admit to using their mobile phone while driving. Distracted drivers from mobile phone use is now regarded as the #1 safety issue on our roads globally. These accidents are completely preventable. Apple and Google have the power and the technology to change this. They could auto-enable their existing “Do Not Disturb” function on their smartphones, which can activate as soon as a vehicle starts moving. You could still use maps and Bluetooth. You just wouldn’t be distracted by notifications or text messages. The current "opt-in" setting isn’t working due to our severe addiction to these devices - so it needs to be opt out, or people won’t use it. If users opt out, then cause death or serious injury, this could then be logged in court. Smartphone distraction on our roads is killing people and ruining lives like Graham’s. We take drink driving seriously. It’s time for our technology companies, Apple and Google, to take responsibility and stop causing deaths and injury by not acting on this. Corporations have a Duty of Care. We call on Apple & Google do not just take our money that contributes to their wealth, but also consider their corporate Duty of Care.
EWE BEAUTY: Campaign for Wool
Australians have always had a great affinity with wool. As a nation, we became wealthy off the wool on the sheep’s back! The future of the wool industry is in innovation. To support this, we need to bring wool processing back on Australian turf. No longer can we rely on offshore scouring and processing of wool. Early-stage wool processing will promote: - The return of manufacturing into Australia - More investment in rural communities - New jobs - Increased yield to sheep farmers - Fibre innovation and greater demand for Aussie wool - Added value to exports - Stronger rural communities - Lower carbon footprint Planet Protector Packaging is on a mission to eliminate polystyrene. Our innovative WOOLPACK is made from 100% coarse waste wool for which there are limited applications. We don’t want wool going to landfill. WE WANT TO SUPPORT AUSSIE SHEEP FARMERS. Inspired by nature, WOOLPACK is transforming supply chains across Australia and New Zealand. It is being used as an alternative to polystyrene for shipping temperature-sensitive food, seafood and pharmaceuticals. To date, we have only been able to process our raw wool offshore because there are no facilities here in Australia that are able to process it! We are taking up this cause and "leading the push” to re-establish wool processing back in this country. If Australia has these facilities it gives us capability as a nation to recycle natural fibres, to work within the circular economy and to minimise the volume of these materials that end up in landfill. Sign the "EWE BEAUTY - Campaign for Wool" below and support us to bring wool processing back on Australian turf.
Change Guidelines For TSV Flood Crisis Payments
UPDATE: The PM has announced a change to the 25% damage guideline, however it is not enough. Continue sharing. Townsville was stricken with disastrous floods this month (still ongoing) which destroyed homes and business around the city. The floods were increased by release of the dams at 8pm on 3/2/2019. People are still coming to terms with the horrors that became in front of their eyes, and now they are dealing with another obstacle. Despite the Townsville Floods being compared a natural disaster and catastrophe, The Department of Human Services has announced a crisis payment that only allows people with 25% damage to their homes, to be eligible for financial assistance. This completely ignores the struggles of those who still have major damages to their homes, despite the little amount of flooding they got compared to the others. All residents regardless of flooding or level of risk to their homes are dealing with: - loss of work due to not being able to travel through flooded waters - throwing out everything they own due to mold invasion. Many residents are experiencing worries for their health due to the mold, many having young children at risk. They are throwing away car seats, blankets, couches, furniture, mattresses, pillows etc. Some residents have nowhere to sleep except the floorboards. - power surges have knocked out all their white goods, including their fridge which inevitably causes all their food to go off. Not to mention again, the mold destroying food in the cupboard. The people of Magnetic Island, Palm Island and surrounding small towns are also not eligible despite suffering the same consequences: mold, loss of food, loss of everything they own. Put yourself in the shoes of just one resident who has been experiencing hardship during this disaster. True Story (location names changed) "Hi Aidan, thank you for creating this petition. This is my story.Location name changed. Imagine this. You are pregnant, you are at your home with 3 young children (1, 7 and teen) and your husband. You were just in the middle of moving house. You are told The Area will soon be affected by the recent disaster in Townsville. You exasperate, but believe everything will be fine. You were meant to be in your new house by now, but you have 3 days emergency food so all should be fine. It starts pouring down with torrential rain and there are reports of landslides, rock slides, and damaged roads in the area. You now realise that you don't have any funds left after using during the packing stages of moving house, and you start to worry that your husband can't go to work. Now imagine this, the next day you awake and find that a power surge had fried your refrigerator. All fresh or frozen foods have been ruined and all is left to eat is porridge, rice and pancakes mix. You cannot eat these, you are allergic, not to mention pregnant. It is not sustainable. You finally walk around the house, and you realise everything you own is covered in mould. You have had to throw out blankets, pillows, mattresses and your couch. Now, you and your 3 young children and husband have nowhere to sleep but the floorboards. You are in an extremely tough spot and to make it worse, noone can reach you because you're in the most damaged part of The Area and everyone else is trying to stay safe inside their homes. Even when the water recedes - your husbands work is closed, the road is still damaged and the The Area is still experiencing the land and rock falls. Finally its safe to leave. By this point its been 9 days and you are feeling quite ill and your children are extremely restless. You decide you will go to the mainland or the nearest shops to get what you need. Because you have no money, you go to apply for emergency assistance with the government. Maybe you can buy something to sleep on and stock back up on fresh foods, at the bare minimum. But no. Sorry, the government says they can't help you. You're not eligible. No water came into the house, therefore you did not really suffer. What do we do now, Mr ScoMo? What now? Can we wait weeks for a Newstart claim to be approved, do we have that time? No, we don't Please share this."
Stop Sco-Mo pledging $$ to the US when farms in Australia are dying.
We have so many rural areas in Australia that are suffering under drought conditions, and have endured massive fires, and yet our Prime Minister has pledged a massive $150mill over 5 years to support America's NASA program. Where is the support for our farmers? The backbone of our existence. Trying to eke out an existence to provide meat, milk, fruit and vegetables for all of us. How many of them, and their children, have to go without what we take for granted just to survive. Water, clothing, sports, school equipment. How would you feel if you could not provide for your children? Then, the animals and the crops. I live in a coastal area, usually lush and green, and had the opportunity to travel to Dubbo in March of this year. Every paddock was brown and dry, there were no crops, just dry, brown dirt paddocks. The animals in the paddocks looked like skeletons. So thin and weak. Cows, horses and sheep resembled a mad Halloween movie. Please sign the petition to our PM and help make him realise that charity begins at home! $30mill per year to support our own farmers, our own communities, is not a stretch if our Government can easily afford it to support a NASA program. If you want to provide that much financial support to another country, while your own country is suffering and dying, maybe you should move there. Mr Scott Morrison, I refrain from even addressing you as our Prime Minister, if you continue to ignore the problems in your own backyard, they will eventually bring YOUR house down. If you agree, and choose to sign the petition, please add your comments about your own story to help drive support for this petition.
STOP CONSUMER RIP OFFS! WE NEED STRONGER CONSUMER LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT!
SICK OF BEING RIPPED OFF AND FOBBED OFF? SICK OF BEING SOLD CRAP THAT YOU CAN'T RETURN? THEN SIGN THE PETITION!Ashton Wood destroyed his Jeep (Destroy My Jeep). Teg Sethi spent thousands making a video about his lemon Jeep that went viral. Why? Because they couldn't get a refund for their severely defective vehicles. This is still happening today. Only stronger consumer laws will stop this travesty of justice.Imagine buying a product for $20,000, or $50,000 or even $80,000 or more and it has so many defects you either can't use it or it is unsafe. Then the supplier blames you for the defects or offers to fix it and just patches it up. Consumer Affairs says 'we can't force a supplier to give you a refund' even though the Australian Consumer Law says that is what you are entitled to. So you are now headed to court or you watch your expensive lemon rot in your back yard. You will lose a lot of money no matter what you do just because you had the bad luck to buy the wrong product. Is this fair? NO. Should this be stopped? YES. Do consumers need far better protections that don't require legal action? YES. Lets send a clear message to the Australian Government that consumers have had enough and want stronger protections that don't cost them money when they buy a defective product. We want all the recommendations from the Australian Consumer Law review implemented.The Australian Consumer Law took many years to draft and was finally passed by Parliament for implementation on 1 January 2011. After 5 years of operation it was subjected to a review to find out whether it was meeting its objectives. Sadly it wasn't and so after extensive consultation and reviews, recommendations have been made to strengthen consumer protections and enforcement.Today, 26 April 2017, John Rolfe reported that Michael McCormack, Minister responsible for 'consumer matters' has torpedoed two of the key recommendations in the final report into strengthening the Australian Consumer Law. These are the 30 day refund provision and the multiple minor defects make a major failure provision. These two new provisions in the law would go a long way to ensuring that consumers are protected against shonky suppliers and manufacturers and not have to spend time, energy and money in seeking redress through courts, especially for larger purchases such as lemon caravans and cars.Michael McCormack is both the Minister for 'consumer matters' and the Minister for Small Business. This is a clear conflict of interest when making decisions about consumer protection that may impact negatively on small businesses who choose not to abide by the ACL and are selling or manufacturing defective products. Supporting Small Business growth and development shouldn't come at the expense of consumer safety and protection.Consumers need to send a clear message to Mr McCormack that they are sick and tired of being fobbed off, of defective goods costing them money and not the supplier or manufacturer, and being forced to take costly and stressful legal action just to get a refund. Please sign this petition to tell the Australian Government that consumers have had enough and demand better laws to protect them, especially for very expensive purchases that they make that may be the second most significant purchase in their lives after their home.
Fair Airfare Deal for Pilbara Residents
Ordinary residents of the Pilbara ask for Government intervention to provide access to reasonable intrastate airfares. Ordinary residents face enormous expense when having to travel to Perth (the only destination available from the Pilbara as there are no inter regional routes) often for urgent family reasons to visit sick relatives. One recent example had a family of five including 3 young children facing a cost of $5000 one way to Perth to visit an ill parent. Recently a quote for a trip from Karratha to Kununurra was $1730, one way, which was $100 more than a one way trip to Paris. A return airfare from Perth to Broome can be obtained for $800 yet the cost for Karratha to Broome is over $2000. This is an enormous burden on Pilbara families and is dangerous from both a mental health perspective and for those that choose the alternative of urgent travelling 1600kms by car also from a road safety perspective. Some investigations have been done, some in authority have claimed this is not price gouging. How can a fare be $385 one day and $980 a few days later. Surely price must have some relativity to cost. This is an urgent matter. It affects the health and well being of Pilbara residents and it also affects the ability to attract business, new residents and resident workforce. We recommend a maximum cap be set on all one way airfares to Perth of $500.
Stop Singapore Military Taking Farm Land in Marlborough, Queensland.
Stop the expansion of Singapore Military training grounds in Marlborough, Queensland. This is land belonging to 40 farmers who will be kicked out if no one stops it. Some of these farmers have families and their livelihoods are at stake. We can not and will not let the government sell land from under the feet of hard working Australians to foreign governments for the purpose of training their military when they can train on their own land in their own country. Say no to foreign ownership of Australian land, say no to Singapore.