- Shadow Minister for Communications
- Shadow Minister for Communications
Save our NRS
Save our NRS I am a National Relay Service (NRS) user and I use this service regularly to make calls to make appointments, clients, services, family members and so on. The NRS is an important service because it offers me the equivalency to telephony that cannot be replicated with 'cheap other options' mainstream communications. The current Request for Tender (RFT) only requires Emergency Services to be 24/7. Other services such as captioned relay, text relay, SMS relay, IP relay and Video Relay are not guaranteed full service and is subjected to bidder's capacity to deliver at a 'Value for Money' which is capped at $22m per annum. In 2016-17, the total operating cost for increasing demand for NRS was at $32m. With capped funding, this means my access to NRS may be limited or restricted. What's more, the Outreach Program is no longer offered. We need the Outreach Program because I see many people who needs NRS are unaware of this important service. I am worried. What happen if I am driving and my car breaks down in the middle of the road at 10PM and I cannot make calls because the service is unavailable? Or if I need personal support and I need to call a hotline but I cannot because the service is unavailable? Or if I need to urgently contact my family members to let them know of an immediate issue but I cannot because the service is unavailable? This lack of assurance is worrying and is not comforting to me, my family, and to my community. I need assurance. I need to feel safe in my community. I need to be seen as equal member of the community. Can you help me? Please stop the tender process undertaking by Department of Communications and the Arts so the requirements can be reviewed so our assurances can be met. I ask for NRS to: ensure that all services are operating 24/7, everyday of the year. restore Outreach Program so other can learn about how to use the NRS; and ensure that the NRS are appropriately funded. NRS is my equivalency for telephony service, I need them everyday for 24 hours a day. Please. stop. this. tender.
No mandatory vaccines in Australia and no vaccine passports.
In Australia there is a bill in Parliament the No Domestic Covid Vaccine Passports Bill 2021. If passed the bill will prohibit the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and other non-government entities from issuing domestic COVID-19 vaccine passports; and discrimination on the basis of whether a person has had a COVID 19 vaccination in the provision of goods, services and facilities; and in relation to employment, education, accommodation and sport. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Friday 20 August 2021 that childcare workers and disability support workers who live or work in the LGAs of concern must have their first vaccination dose by 30 August 2021. On 28 June 2021, the Australian Government announced that COVID-19 vaccinations would be made mandatory for residential aged care workers. All workers in aged care will be required to receive their first dose of the vaccine by September this year. Queensland has a public health order in place mandating vaccination for health service employees who are likely to encounter and treat people with COVID-19. What this means is that any workers in a vaccine mandated industry, who choose not to be vaccinated and who are not medically exempt, will not be able to work and will lose their capacity to earn an income. There is nothing in law that currently protects individuals against discrimination based on your vaccine status, it is not a protected attribute. Since COVID-19 is novel we need to ensure that the community are protected against this kind of discrimination. People deserve to have the choice and retain individual sovereignty over their bodies and the medical treatment they receive without coercion. That is why this bill needs to be supported and we need Parliament to see where the community stands. You can be fully vaccinated, unvaccinated, pro-vaccine, or anti-vaccine, and still sign this petition as it only regards to the mandate.
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,
REJECTION OF PROPOSED NAME “WRAN” FOR SUBURB AREA 11
We request that the suburb name of WRAN be rejected for Suburb Area 11 and propose that Area 11 either: 1. Remain part of “SCHOFIELDS” with no change at all OR 2. Be named “TALLAWONG” to match with the name of the railway station that sits within the boundaries of Area 11. The railway station was named “Tallawong Railway Station” by the GNB in April 2018 OR 3. An alternative and more appropriate name be proposed with direct consultation with residents in Area 11. We, the residents of Schofields (Area 11), have listened to Council’s proposal and deliberated about the impact that this will have on our families and our communities. We jointly present this petition to reject Council’s proposal to the Geographical Names Board (“GNB”). Specifically, we wish to object the change of name for the Area 11 as per the “Revised suburbs area map” and urge the GNB to reject the proposed name of WRAN and let us retain the existing name of Schofields for Zone 11. Blacktown Council is proposing to use two former Labor Politicians names for new suburb names in our local area. Those names are Wran and Lynch. The name Wran has nothing to do with the NIRIMBA Quakers Hill / Schofields area! The NSW Naming Policy, Clause 9.2 states that “names associated with the heritage of an area are encouraged, especially the names of early explorers, settlers, naturalists, events”. In our opinion the name WRAN does not comply with this clause. We reject the name change to WRAN on the following grounds: 1. When we made the decision to buy our property we chose the location carefully after considering other areas in Greater Western Sydney and specifically chose Schofields for location and the suburb name. Schofields has evolved as a well-known suburb, due to the attention the suburb name has been achieving due to the growth in the area. Schofields has well established Schools, a train station, new proposed shopping precincts, etc. The change of the suburb name could potentially devalue our homes. 2. In our opinion the name WRAN does not comply with the NSW Place Naming Policy, Clause 3 “Geographical names shall be easy to pronounce, spell and write”. The justification for this as noted in the policy is to “facilitate reliable electronic searching essential for navigation systems, service delivery and public safety”. The name WRAN does not comply as it is pronounced “RAN” (it contains a silent “W”), due to this: a. It is not easy to spell or write due to the silent “W” b. Could result in significant confusion / delays in essential services where the silent “W” would need to be explained or repeated as required – this should not be acceptable and can impact public safety. Whilst we respect the name WRAN, it is pronounced ‘RAN’ and use as a suburb name may confuse emergency services deliveries – especially if people are needing to spell the name to make it clearer c. The proposed suburb of “WRAN” will contain the railway station which is now named “TALLAWONG”, this alone will be the cause of confusion. The majority of railway stations in NSW hold the same name of the suburb they are in. d. The proposed suburb of WRAN contains land designated for a school. The suburb name will also be used more widely by school children that could be further confused in identifying their location, through a name which has a silent letter “W” as the first letter in the name. e. The proposed suburb of WRAN also has also land designated as “employment lands” and a local shopping centre near the new railway station of Tallawong. Hence the name will be more widely used and could be confusing. 3. There have been numerous amounts of negative feedback provided regarding the name WRAN. We are struggling to understand how this proposal has been put forward by Council despite the negative feedback. 4. Residents were not ‘formally’ notified through any direct correspondence referencing the property that they hold (i.e. by DP or Lot Number). Residents received a pamphlet which was with their rates notice and could attend general community forums. There are some residents that do not know about the name change at all. 5. Page 34 and 35 of Blacktown Council’s letter to the GNB dated December 2017 makes reference to the significance of Railway Station Naming (in connection with suburb naming), however it did not contemplate that the name “Tallawong Railway Station” had already been advertised for public comment (and now subsequently approved). It would appear unlikely that the station will now be named “Wran Railway Station”. We support the name TALLAWONG instead of WRAN Whilst we prefer that Area 11 should remain within Schofields, we acknowledge that due to growth in the Area new suburbs may need to be created, however Area 11 should NOT be named “WRAN”. We would welcome the name “TALLAWONG” on the following grounds: 1. The name of the new railway station that falls within the proposed boundaries of AREA 11 has recently been approved to be named “TALLAWONG”. We note that in the NSW Place Naming Policies, Clause 11.1 makes reference that “Railway stations shall be named after its locality or area of interest unless to do so would lead to a duplicated station name. In these cases a name that identifies with the local area or location of the station should be used”. Further we note that the clause says “Railway station names assist in location and navigation and are particularly important for visitors and travellers”. a. TALLAWONG was approved on the basis of the above policy. TALLAWONG is a name that is identified in the local area and is of Aboriginal significance. It is derived from the Dharug word ‘dalawang’ for the apple gum tree. The name reflects the positive relationship between the Rouse family, which used the name Tallawong on their estate in the area, and the indigenous population in both the local Schofields/Rouse Hill area. TALLAWONG complies with Clause 9.2 which states that “Aboriginal names are encouraged”. b. The railway station TALLAWONG is located in the proposed suburb of WRAN. Having a suburb and railway station with difference names would not seem logical or practical at all, and could result in a lot of confusion in the area. The majority of railway stations in NSW are named after the suburb in which they are located. c. The name TALLAWONG would be more suited and appropriate for the suburb of WRAN. Whilst we would prefer to keep the name Schofields, should this not be possible, the name TALLAWONG for the suburb name is more appropriate to link with the new railway station of TALLAWONG. d. Blacktown Council have not considered the naming of the railway station TALLAWONG. The information contained in their documents suggests that the station would be named WRAN, however this is not the case. 2. Whilst the use of a developer names for an estate is not the reason for a change in suburb name, it appears that developers have named residential estates in Area 11 with reference to the name Tallawong due to is significance in the area. It is a widely used name, and the name of what will be a key road in the suburb. Therefore if the suburb name is TALLAWONG it would not be due to developers, it would be as it is recognised by the community. 3. TALLAWONG was one of the names that council had proposed for the Area in its initial proposal process. Following the above, we strongly recommend that the name WRAN is rejected for Area 11 in Blacktown City Council and either the name Schofields is retained or a more appropriate name (such as TALLAWONG is used for the proposed Suburb. We believe the greatest impact that this proposal has is on our sense of belonging to our community. Council would agree that sense of place is important to all Australians. Hugh Clifford Mackay AO put it so eloquently in an article in The Age, dated October 15, 2005, “Place…is fundamental to the human sense of self, sense of community, sense of mortality and sense of destiny.” As residents of Schofields, we feel that we have a strong sense of belonging to our community. Our sense of community bonding is driven in large part by our connection to other residents of Schofields. Our children are involved in numerous local community activities and many of our children attend Schofields Public School, which is just a short walk away from where we live. Can Council imagine the sense of isolation and disconnection our children may experience when they are no longer a part of the suburb they have grown up in? Or perhaps the social ostracism they may experience from other children at their school when they are all of a sudden not “one of them” Much of the bond that our children share is driven by an intrinsic appreciation of being from the same place. We are deeply concerned about the impact that the change in name will have on our collective sense of belonging to the Schofields community and strongly urge Council to reconsider its proposal. As a resident of this area I wish to invite the community to sign this petition and please register their rejection of the name WRAN with the Geographical Names Board SS-GNB@finance.nsw.gov.au. If the name is approved by the GNB there will be no chance to change it. It is important you submit your feedback to the email address above.
Onscreen Fact-Checks for Sky News After Dark (Australia)
For most of the day, Sky News Australia offers fair and decent news coverage. But their opinion shows, known collectively as Sky News After Dark (AD), consists of little more than misleading reporting, inflammatory opinions and even outright falsehoods. Sky News AD has even publicly apologised for doing those very things in 2017, 2018, 2019, two times in 2020 and not once, not twice, not three times, not four times but five times in 2021. But apologies (no matter how numerous) are no longer enough, it's time for action. Sky News AD needs fact-checks, researched and written by an independent and non-biased team, to appear on the screen when false or misleading statements are said. A successful country depends on a fully informed population. The fact that Sky News AD blasts countless hours of misinforming and misleading content at millions of Australians is a major hindrance to that. It's also dangerous. Consider the following... A survey found that since the pandemic started in 2020, hundreds of hate crimes have been committed against Asian-Australians. Sky News AD has broadcast hundreds of fearmongering and provocative news reports about China. Right-wing terrorism has surged in Australia, it now occupies a third of ASIO's workload. In 2019, we saw an Australian attack Muslims in New Zealand. In 2020, we saw an Australian jailed for plotting to attack Muslims and a different Australian arrested for (allegedly) encouraging terror attacks against non-whites. What do we see on Sky News AD? The exact anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-multicultural rhetoric that would fuel such hatred and attacks. Sky News AD has had many guests who spread that same rhetoric. They include Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Stefan Molyneux, Steve Bannon, Lauren Southern, Katie Hopkins and (perhaps most infamously) Blair Cottrell. There's even evidence that right-wing terrorists in Canada, the UK, the US and New Zealand were fans of the aforementioned people and/or the outlets they've worked with. And yet Sky News AD let them speak to Australia unchallenged. Since Sky News AD started intensely demonising Victorian Premier Dan Andrews over his handling of the pandemic, Andrews has received violent threats and his office has been repeatedly vandalised. It's worth mentioning that at least 2 of the epithets that were spray-painted onto his office had previously been uttered on Sky News AD. Sky News AD helped to stir up rage against Victoria's lockdowns. We then saw a violent anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne. Sky News AD very often mocks, vilifies and fearmongers about LGBT+ people and the policies that help them. Meanwhile, homophobic bullying remains rife throughout the country. How many of these awful acts were inspired by Sky News AD? It's impossible to say. Does Sky News AD do enough to discourage such acts? Not at all and that's unacceptable. Of course, Sky News AD people are free to say what they want. Onscreen fact-checks would respect that while directly counteracting the harm that they do by correcting/counterbalancing their wrongful statements as soon as they're stated. It's been proven that visible and well-written labels can effectively inform people and inspire them to make better choices. (It worked for cigarette boxes!) Onscreen fact-checks can help to decrease the hatred and ignorance that Sky News AD perpetuates. At the very least, it'll put more facts and information in front of people which is an indisputable benefit. Please sign this petition and let's Make Australia Factual.
Keep Dr Saeid Tahmasebi at Ponds Medical Centre
Dr Saeid Tahmasebi joined Ponds Medial Centre in October 2015. The Department of Health has requested that Dr Tahmasebi stop working at Ponds Medical Centre and relocate to a rural region to complete the final 2 years of his moratorium. We would like this petition to be the voice of our patients to let Canberra know that we are devastated to lose our Doctor, and ask that they allow Dr Tahmasebi to remain here to serve our community. Dr Tahmasebi has built a strong and loyal patient base over the past 4 years. This is largely due to the fact that Dr Tahmasebi is available to his patients - he works full time covering evenings and on Saturday and Sunday, times when our patients need him most. He is a caring, compassionate and a highly respected Doctor who will be sorely missed by his patients and colleagues. Ponds Medical Centre patients are made up of a diverse demographic including young families with both parents working full time. Our practice grew very quickly, especially in the after- hours periods due to being the only medical centre in The Ponds open past 6pm and open both Saturdays and Sundays. We are equipped with a treatment room to handle minor emergencies and accidents, therefore contributing relief to our very busy Emergency Departments at Blacktown, Westmead Childrens’, Westmead and Hawkesbury hospitals. Our community will suffer with the removal of an established full time Doctor at Ponds Medical Centre. We urge our patients to please support our petition to keep Dr Saeid Tahmasebi here at Ponds Medical Centre where he can continue to be of service to our patients in our community. Ponds Medical Centre and Dr Saeid Tahmasebi.
Create a dog and children’s park in our area
We are a new area that it growing very quickly in Riverstone/Schofields. A lot of dog owners in this area have no secure fenced off areas for dogs to play we need access to water and a bin for them too. Children need a place to play and ride bikes and scooters and meet new friends in this growing area. We have 2 areas on Cranbourne st that are very large storm water catchment areas and could be used for our parks, in walking distance for most residents and those that can’t drive. It would be great place for people to meet each other and make new friends. Older residents need a place to get out of the house and meet new friends too. It’s harder for them to meet people when they have retired and no longer see work mates. Houses built in the area have no back yards and we need an area to encourage children to mix with friends and to exercise. I have lived in Riverstone for 6 years and in Vineyard before that for 48 years. I get disheartening when other areas get new shopping centres and parks and we get nothing. I personally know some people that would have loved to stay here but sold up and moved away because Riverstone has nothing to offer. We all pay our rates so we now need Council to give back a bit to the area and make it a better place to live.
Speed Camera on Reservoir Rd lights (Kurrajong Cres)
Hi families and Community, Please sign your name on this petition for a speed camera on Reservoir Rd lights at Kurrajong Cres. From 2.30-3.30 weekdays it is a disaster with speeding trucks and cars whilst families are trying to pick up the children from St Michael's Primary and Nagle College and cross the road they speed through the lights. Something needs to be done Please help and pass this round the community.