Decision Maker

Steven Marshall MP

  • South Australian Leader of the Opposition

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Victory
Petitioning Jay Weatherill

Stop allowing “gay panic” as an excuse for murder in Australia

I’m a Catholic Priest and 8 years ago a man called Wayne Ruks was bashed to death in my Maryborough churchyard (300kms north of Brisbane). Unbelievably, his killer's convictions were downgraded to manslaughter, and in the trial the circumstances surrounding the bashing referred to  issues that can be described as “gay panic.”  It’s disgusting - this law, under the common law interpretation of the partial defence of Provocation, is still valid in both QLD and South Australia. In these two Australian states, if someone who you think is gay makes a pass at you, the sheer panic you could feel is partial justification for murder. I’ve made it my mission to see this revolting law abolished - it belongs in the dark ages. I have no words to describe how offensive, harmful and dangerous it is that two of our governments uphold that a person can be panicked enough by gay people to justify murder. The common law can really be only over-ridden in this respect by explicit legal ammendments to the Code of Criminal law covering murder and the partial defence of Provocation. Gay panic will continue to be a part of the law of these states until expressly excluded.  I am also concerned that even when cases are not formally and specifically pleading the 'gay panic' defense, the mere bringing in of suggestions that the victim made a non-violent homosexual advance, (whether true or not), poisons the waters and taps into deep-seated homophobia and bigotry and ought not be brought up at all in any way in the hearing of a jury. The victim is not on trial here.    That’s why I am calling on the Queensland and South Australia to eliminate this "gay panic" law as a partial defence for murder. Please sign and share my petition.

Rev. Fr. Paul Kelly. Catholic Priest
290,300 supporters
Petitioning Luke Foley, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten, Michael Keenan, Michaelia Cash, Alan Tudge, Jenny Macklin, Linda Burney, Clare O'Neil, Terri Butler, Derryn Hinch, Gladys Berejiklian, Luke Foley, Daniel...

End soft sentencing for child abuse and domestic violence

End the judicial system's sympathetic attitudes and questionable soft sentencing of child abuse, child sexual abuse and domestic violence perpetrators. In the most recent Australian case, Matthew Lee Williamson was given just nine years for the murdering Kyhesha-Lee his three year old daughter. He could be out on parole in just seven years.  "Your treatment of your daughter was occasionally loving but mostly cruel and callous,” Justice Atkinson said. “You should have put her welfare above all else.” Kyhesha-Lee HAD MEDICALLY VERIFIED SEXUAL ABUSE INJURIES IDENTIFIED AT HER AUTOPSY…  and her short life was characterised by repeated violence and sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is not loving and not the behaviour of anyone who should have access to children, even if the children are their own. Matthew’s behaviour towards his daughter was abhorrent and Judges must be called to account and dismissed for their soft sentencing on all forms of child abuse and domestic violence.  One punch legislation has a mandatory minimum sentence for violent assaults fuelled by drugs and alcohol of eight years, with a max. of 25 years. Legislation must be changed to address the overwhelming levels of violence in homes and towards children. Kyhesha-Lee was delivered one fatal punch. One fatal punch from her own father, along with a life of sexual abuse. Violence to children, especially by the their parents or family members is not okay.  Legislative changes must be brought in to protect and address the epidemic crisis of domestic, child and sexual violence in our country.  Innocent children and vulnerable people deserve our support as a community. Perpetrators need to know the community is outraged and will no longer tolerate domestic violence.  Send the message loud and clear to politicians, violence against children and vulnerable people is not okay. Our judicial system is not reflective of community attitudes.  Swift legislative change is demanded by your constituents to correct the judicial system in criminal AND family courts to ensure every officer, judge and member of the legal system recognise that child abuse, child sexual abuse and domestic violence are fundamental breaches of humanity that should be taken seriously and punished harshly. Your action is required now.

Jane A
47,954 supporters
Petitioning Jay Weatherill, Nick Xenophon, Steven Marshall MP

REDUCE S.A PRICES. HELP SOUTH AUSTRALIANS!

WHY are we the highest paying state for ELECTRICITY, TAX, FINES, STAMP DUTY & LAND TAX! what next?? Drive us out the state! South Australia pays more and its driving people out of South Australia! We are now the world's most highest paying state for electricity!  Buninesses are shutting down causing MORE Job loss, farmers are on the edge, The average hard working are finding it hard to keep up or let alone try and buy their first house! The elderly are struggling to pay bills on such low income! PRICES KEEP RISING AND PAYS STAY THE SAME!  We want a fair go for us South Australians better electricity prices, low/no stamp duty for first home buyers the same as other states!! Fines PRICES the same as other states! Why do we pay double and have nothing in state to show for it but job loss and a state that is in a mess! If nothing is done what's left for South Australians ! We are forced to move? Forced to sit in the cold/hot weather conditions and not use power? Find a higher paying jobs with such limited jobs already! Nooo more!! WE WANT TO BE HEARD!  

stacey singline
1,671 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Jay Weatherill

Exposing ANIMAL CRUELTY Is ILLEGAL In South Australia - Help Change The Law

In South Australia it will become ILLEGAL to capture footage of ANIMAL CRUELTY within Animal Agriculture. Those who do so risk imprisonment for 3 years! SIGN this petition to support an amendment bill which will change this law, deeming animal welfare in the interest of the public & therefore making it legal for animal advocates to capture footage of animal abuse & release it to the public. Unjust laws like this are known as Ag-Gag (Agricultural Gag) laws. Please support freedom of information & the exposure of the systematic animal cruelty which takes place all over Australia within the Animal Agricultural Industry. If this amendment does not pass, capturing footage of animal agricultural cruelty will be illegal in South Australia and MILLIONS OF ANIMALS will continue to suffer in silence on a daily basis. THANK YOU FOR BEING A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS.  **FURTHER DETAILS PROVIDED BELOW IF INTERESTED**  __________________________________________________________________ In South Australia the current Surveillance Devices Act 2016 states that those who capture animal cruelty on factory farms, greyhound industry, puppy farms etc. face up a $15,000 fine or 3 years imprisonment for such actions. This is considered Ag-Gag (A gag on animal agriculture) where by freedom of information is suppressed & the public are kept in the dark about where their animal products come from & how the animals are treated before slaughter. LINK TO THE LEGISLATION [Issue of concern Section 6 (1) & (2) on page 9.] https://legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/V/A/2016/SURVEILLANCE%20DEVICES%20ACT%202016_2/2016.2.UN.PDF ___________________________________________________________________ "The Bill seeks to amend the Surveillance Devices Act 2016 (SA), which unintentionally introduced ag-gag laws into South Australia. Ag-gag laws operate to silence animal advocates, and have the effect of reducing transparency, and enabling the concealment of animal cruelty, in animal use industries. The work of animal advocates has been crucial in exposing animal cruelty in a number of animal use industries – including factory farms, the greyhound racing industry and puppy farms. This is why the proposed Bill seeks to amend the Act, by: - Creating a presumption that the use of a surveillance device to obtain material relating to animal welfare will be in the public interest, and therefore permissible under the Act; and - Permitting the public release of material derived from a surveillance device, where the device was used in the public interest and the information relates to animal welfare. The Australian Labor Party has already committed to opposing ag-gag in its National Platform & Constitution, and Deputy Premier John Rau has stated repeatedly that the Act is not intended to be ag-gag. Amendments are needed to ensure these intentions are adequately reflected in the Act." ~ Voiceless.org.au LINK TO THE AMENDMENT BILL  https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/B/CURRENT/SURVEILLANCE%20DEVICES%20(ANIMAL%20WELFARE)%20AMENDMENT%20BILL%202016_HON%20TAMMY%20FRANKS%20MLC/B_AS%20INTRODUCED%20IN%20LC/SURVEILLANCE%20WELFARE%20AMENDMENT%20BILL%202016.UN.PDF __________________________________________________________________ 

N A
1,472 supporters
Petitioning Paul McCartney, Frontier Touring, Steven Marshall MP, Jay Weatherill

Bring Sir Paul McCartney to Adelaide

In 1964, at just 25 years of age, while working as a radio DJ, the late Bob Francis put together a petition of 80,000 signatures which ended up persuading the Beatles to change their itinerary and visit Adelaide in their 1964 tour..... Fast forward over 50 years and once again a Beatle won't be coming to Adelaide for a tour... Lets change his mind! Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney have been locked in for dates and we at Crackle & Pop Records can't see any reason why another one couldn't be added...People often complain that Adelaide doesn't get tours, so now is your chance to speak up. 

Crackle & Pop Records
1,196 supporters
Petitioning MinisterJosh Frydenberg, Jay Weatherill, Steven Marshall MP

No gas extraction for the Limestone Coast.

The clean green south east of South Australia relies on its ground water and natural springs in order to be a major food basket of Australia. From world class wines to quality beef and lamb, stone fruits and more, the Limestone coast is the greenest cleanest region of South Australia. We are leaders in forestry and renewable energy. We are a world class tourist destination for scuba diving in our amazing clean underground caves.. The blue lake at Mount Gambier is an Australian icon.  To put all of this at risk is pure idiocy. Say no to gas extraction on the Limestone coast!!

mark weaver
483 supporters
Petitioning Jay Weatherill, Steven Marshall MP

Abolish the gay panic defence law in South Australia

On the 22nd of March 2017, the "gay panic defence" was scrapped in Queensland. This means that South Australia is the only state in Australia to keep this homophobic and outdated law. Also known as the "homosexual advance defence (HAD) strategy", the gay panic defence is an argument made by lawyers to downgrade murder sentences to manslaughter. The idea is that if someone of the same sex makes advances on you, and you are panicked to the point of murdering them, then under the partial defence of provocation your sentence can be lightened. This horrific and backwards legal defence has got to go. It no longer has a place in our society. Fearing gay people is no longer an acceptable excuse for murder - it contravenes Articles 1, 2, 9, 22, 28 and 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity convention of the UNHRC. In 2011, Michael Joseph Lindsay was found guilty of bashing and stabbing Andrew Negre to death, and then depositing Negre’s body in a wheelie bin. Lindsay’s lawyer attempted to use the gay panic defence to turn the jury to Lindsay’s favour, but the jury and judge ruled otherwise: "There is no doubt that in former times, when acts of homosexuality constituted serious crime and men were accustomed to resort to weapons and violence to defend their honour, a killing under the provocation present here would have been seen as giving rise to a verdict of manslaughter rather than murder. However, times have very much changed." Times have changed indeed. Reverend Father Paul Kelly, a Catholic priest in Brisbane, created the successful “Stop allowing “gay panic” as an excuse for murder in Australia” petition, which garnered over 290,700 signatures – one of the most forward and progressive figures against the scrapping of the gay panic defence in Queensland. “For many years [SA has] been at the forefront when it comes to LGBTIQ issues,” said SA Rainbow Advocacy Alliance chair Andrew Birtwistle-Smith. “For us to be the last in Australia, it is quite embarrassing.” Australia’s justice system is exactly that – a justice system, based on fairness and equality. So long as the gay panic defence persists in Australia, the reliability and effectiveness of this system is undermined and ineffective. Bigotry in any form holds no place in our country, or in our courts, and it’s time that South Australia dismiss the gay panic defence as a partial excuse for murder.   ABC News, 2016. South Australia becomes last state to allow gay panic defence for murder. [online] p.1. Available at: <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-22/sa-becomes-last-state-to-allow-gay-panic-defence/8376948> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. ABC News, 2017. Gay panic defence scrapped by Queensland Parliament after lobbying by Catholic priest. [online] p.1. Available at: <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-22/gay-panic-defence-scrapped-by-queensland-parliament/8374758> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2012. Stop allowing “gay panic” as an excuse for murder in Australia. [online] Change.org. Available at: <https://www.change.org/p/stop-allowing-gay-panic-as-an-excuse-for-murder-in-australia> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2014. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 2014. 1st ed. [ebook] United Nations General Assembly, pp.1-6. Available at: <http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/69/182> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2016. A sordid history of the gay panic defence in Australia. [online] SBS. Available at: <http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/sexuality/agenda/article/2016/08/12/sordid-history-gay-panic-defence-australia> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2016. Manslaughter Murder Homicide laws Victoria |Criminal legal. [online] Victoria.criminallegal.com.au. Available at: <http://victoria.criminallegal.com.au/crimes/manslaughter-murder-homicide-laws/#> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2017. Combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. [online] Ohchr.org. Available at: <http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Discrimination/Pages/LGBT.aspx> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2017. Council establishes mandate on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. [online] Ohchr.org. Available at: <http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20220> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2017. Free & Equal. [online] Unfe.org. Available at: <https://www.unfe.org/> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Anon, 2017. International Human Rights Law and Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity. 1st ed. [ebook] United Nations for LGBT Equality, pp.1-2. Available at: <https://www.unfe.org/system/unfe-6-UN_Fact_Sheets_v6_-_International_Human_Rights_Law__and_Sexual_Orientation___Gender_Identity.pdf> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017].Anon, 2017. Maximum Penalties | The Sentencing Advisory Council. [online] SentencingCouncil.vic.gov.au. Available at: <https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/maximum-penalties> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Gregoire, P., 2015. 'Gay Panic' Is Still a Murder Defense in Some States of Australia. [online] Vice. Available at: <https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/gay-panic-is-still-a-murder-defence-in-some-states-of-australia> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. news.com, 2016. Why is Queensland still waiting to remove the ‘gay panic defence’?. [online] p.1. Available at: <http://www.news.com.au/national/courts-law/why-is-queensland-still-waiting-to-remove-the-gay-panic-defence/news-story/57c7907b3b7c7e5fdfc2772e1e66fae9> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Purtill, J., 2017. Why Queensland and South Australia still have the 'gay panic defence'. [online] Triple J HACK. Available at: <http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/the-killing-of-wayne-ruks-and-the-gay-panic-defence/7295156> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. SBS News, 2017. Queensland abolishes 'gay panic' defence to murder. [online] p.1. Available at: <http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/22/queensland-abolishes-gay-panic-defence-murder> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017]. Schwartzbach, M., 2017. Murder vs. Manslaughter: State of Mind. [online] www.nolo.com Available at: <http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/murder-vs-manslaughter-state-mind.html> [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017].

Giselle Gacutan
257 supporters
Petitioning Steven Marshall MP

Keep Public Land Public!

A year-long campaign by APPA, backed by the City Council and 31 eminent South Australians achieved a breakthrough in September 2017 when first the Liberal State Opposition, and then the Labor State Government, both retreated from a controversial proposal to have more than a thousand high-rise private apartments built on the old RAH site. However, there's still a fight to protect the Park Lands site of the old RAH from private commercial exploitation. Both the Government and Opposition are threatening to hand over part of the site to developers for a five-star luxury hotel. Whether you want the site returned entirely to Park Lands, or whether you support some new public buildings on the site, there is a fundamental principle at stake; a line in the sand that must not be crossed by any State Government (Labor or Liberal). If any new buildings replace the old RAH, this public land (Park Lands) should not be commercialised or privatised. It cannot be merely exploited for private profit. It must remain in public hands, for public benefit. Liberal leader Steven Marshall: "Keep This Land Public"

Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association
127 supporters
Petitioning Jay Weatherill, Steven Marshall MP

Abolish The "Gay Panic" Law

South Australia is the last state in Australia to have the "Gay Panic Defense" law and it's about time we change it! With the recent legalisation of SSM. We need to protect our LGBTQ+ Community in anyway possible. Queenland recently became the second to last state to abolish the horrible law and it's about time South Australia does! So quickly sign this law, share it and let's get it over with 

Eddy Gordon
108 supporters
Petitioning Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, sonia sotomayor, Lamar Alexander, Tammy Baldwin, John Barrasso, Michael Bennet, Richard Blumen...

CONGRESS: INCLUDE A SOLUTION TO DACA IN THE 2018 BUDGET

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - is an immigration policy that was passed by President Barack Obama in 2012. The immigration policy grants those who came into the country before the age of 16, a work permit and the ability to obtain a driver's license. DACA is not a permanent resolution to immigration reform. Those who are under DACA must have their status renewed after every two years. In addition, in order to be under DACA you must have a clean record free of any major felonies or misdemeanors. Those who are approved for DACA must have their fingerprints scanned (biometrics). Research has suggested that having undocumented immigrants under DACA, or working in the United States in general, does not affect native citizens. Also, there is no evidence that DACA recipients are more likely to commit a crime than any other demographic. It is important to petition for a permanent solution for DACA to be included on the December 22nd budget because starting March 3rd, 2018, 1,000 people a day covered by DACA could potentially lose their status, and be deported from the United States of America. Congress is unwilling to include the solution in the budget for the 2018 fiscal year. DACA is not only a benefit to Latin people. Out of the 11 million undocumented people, 600,000 are Black. DACA is a universal immigration policy. There are Africans, Afro-Panamanians, and more who are affected by the brutal legislation of the Trump Administration.   Misconceptions of DACA “DACA recipients are criminals.” Those who are DACA must have evidence that they brought to this country under the age of 16. Most DACA recipients were brought to the United States at a very young age, therefore, unaware of any illegal actions. “DACA recipients do not pay taxes.” “DACA students are eligible for FAFSA” - FAFSA does not grant DACA students any forms of loans, or grants. DACA students must find funding from their education either through institutional aid (all public universities and colleges in the state of Georgia are not allowed to fund undocumented immigrants, or admit them to the college), private scholarships, or work. “DACA recipients have healthcare” - DACA recipients are not eligible for healthcare. In addition, they are not eligible for food stamps, welfare, or medicare.   DACA is being rescinded because many Americans feel that the program was implemented unconstitutionally by President Barack Obama. Initially, President Obama proposed the Dream ACT - a bill that proposed a pathway to permanent residency for DACA recipients. This bill passed the House, but failed to overrule a bipartisan filibuster in the senate. Therefore, Barack Obama implemented DACA through an executive order. Although DACA has its benefits, it is not a permanent solution for undocumented immigrants. President Donald Trump is able to rescind DACA because it is an executive order, not a legislation passed by congress. Although economists have asserted that DACA enhances the United States economy, and that DACA recipients are no more likely to commit a crime than a typical American, President Trump still insisted on rescinding DACA due to a xenophobic, nationalist, and racist agenda.

Golden Daka
84 supporters