- Shadow Minister for Education and Training
- Shadow Minister for Education and Training
We stand with LGBTIQ youth against discriminatory religious exemptions
Imagine a young person being forced to suppress their true identity for fear of being kicked out of school and humiliated in front of their peers. These laws tell youth to hide their identity or be rejected by their community and isolated from their friends. That's the impact of the government's discriminatory religious exemptions. Tell the government you won't stand for it. ---UPDATE 1: Your voices are having an impact! PM Scott Morrison has now backtracked on expelling gay students, but has still not released the full recommendations for Religious Freedoms. UPDATE 2: The Coalition has indicated it will craft its own legislation with Labor to protect LGBTIQ students from discrimination but does not support the move to protect teachers and staff. No one should be fired or denied employment based on who they are or who they love. UPDATE 3: The Coalition has blocked the labor bill, forcing the issue into next year. These discriminatory exemptions will continue to exist, likely through til election. With now 50,000 signatures, we will continue to carry this issue into the forefront of 2019 - encourage your community to stand against this - no student shouldn't know where they're welcome to return to school because their identity. We want to ensure the conversation continues to include teachers and staff, as the government fails to include amendments that protect their rights.Sign the petition and let's make sure schools are safe for everyone. ---- Minus18 will deliver this petition to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Save the Alexandra Canal Cycleway
What is the Alexandra Canal cycleway? The Alexandra Canal cycleway is a calm, safe and protected shared path cycleway that connects Tempe and the southern suburbs, to Sydney's CBD and eastern suburbs. It is a much-loved facility, frequently used by many local Sydney Airport staff and commuters to get to work every day, as well as recreational users of all ages. What is happening to the Alexandra Canal cycleway? Video: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/alexandra-canal-cycleway-set-to-close-20190222-5bw8t.html The State Government (RMS) Sydney Gateway motorway project was designed to connect the Airport terminals to the Sydney Ports, and will require the space to the north of Sydney Airport. Due to Sydney Airport airspace height restrictions, the project plans to remove the existing shared cycling and walking connection along the Alexandra Canal adjacent to Airport Drive. Amongst the many known benefits of active travel, decreasing congestion is important, as the City of Sydney writes in 'Growing Sydney’s congestion-busting bike network'. A protected, separated cycling network is important to reduce and minimise disruption to motor traffic, improve safety for all and free up space for truck freight movements. There is some provision for the replacement and installation of equivalent cycling and walking infrastructure as part of these road projects. However, from history, we know when projects run over budget, walking and cycling facilities are often the first to be removed from the plans. It is also important that safe access is provided for the community during the construction period. What do we want? The surrounding cycling and walking advocacy groups have joined together and agreed on 3 important asks for people cycling in the community: A cycling and walking route along Alexandra Canal from Tempe Reserve to Coward St (equivalent to the existing facility, if not improved) during and after construction. A cycling and walking route linking the Alexandra Canal pathway with the Sydney Airport Domestic Terminal and Bayside Council’s proposed Eastern cycling network (Wentworth Ave, Mill Pond greenway, Foreshore Drive). A bicycle route linking the Alexandra Canal pathway to Sydenham Station and to Sydney Park. Who is responsible? Asks 1-3: We call upon our state representatives to urge the State Government (RMS) to support and provide these important, vital active travel connections for our community. Ask 2: We call upon our federal representatives to urge the Federal Government to assist Sydney Airport Corporation Limited - SACL in negotiating and providing the land to assist the State Government in achieving these connections. What action is required? In addition to signing and sharing this petition, we urge all supporters to write letters to their state and federal representatives (and upcoming election candidates), outlining these 3 asks, and expressing what this cycling and walking facility means to you. Who is behind this campaign? BIKEast Bike Marrickville The Orbital ArtCycle Sydney Green Ring Bikes Botany Bay St George Bicycle Users Group Bicycle NSW BIKESydney Georges River Active Transport (GRAT) Sutherland Shire Environment Centre WalkSydney
Dear politicians, we should elect our Prime Minister, not you!
We call on the members of parliament to introduce new laws regarding how a sitting Prime Minister can be removed. Because we should elect our Prime Minister, not the faceless power-brokers and disgruntled backbenchers. To the members of the Australian Parliament, Over the last 8 years Australia has had 5 changes to the Prime Ministership. To put this into some context, the previous 5 prime ministers were spread out over more than 3 decades. Given these facts I'm sure you'd agree that the recent track record is ridiculous. The events that we have witnessed in recent years, and again in August, is an absolute disgrace. It is making Australia the laughing stock of the world. Australians are fed up with seeing a running procession of Prime Ministers, especially when we didn't even vote for them. Frustratingly, the political class has repeatedly lectured us about how the Westminster system 'works' and how this system gives them the right to change our Prime Minister whenever the they want. Well, guess what? it clearly is not working - certainly not in the minds of the average Australian. The system is broken. At an election most Australians vote for a party, its policies and ultimately the leader who is plastered on every poster, TV and radio station. Therefore, we are effectively voting for the person who we wish to represent us as Prime Minister. We call on the members of parliament to introduce new laws regarding how a sitting Prime Minister can be removed. The aim of which is to make it harder for faceless power-brokers and disgruntled backbenchers to dispose of a sitting Prime Minister, against the peoples will. Ultimately this is about the stability and integrity of our democracy. We don't just expect a higher standard of you, we demand it. Yours sincerely, The Australian people, your electors.
Freeze Federal Funding of WestConnex
WestConnex is a proposed 33 km long tollway going through the inner suburbs of Sydney connecting the M4 and M5. Its current cost is a massive $16.8 billion, a cost to be met by taxpayers and heavy tolls. To date the NSW Government has committed $1.5 billion and obtained a commercial loan of $1.5 billion to fund the project. The Federal Government has committed a $1.8 billion grant and $2 billion loan for the project. This still leaves a funding gap of $10 billion, which will probably have to be met by the Federal Government committing further taxpayer funds.In spite of this massive expense, all independent transport experts say that WestConnex will increase, not reduce, traffic congestion. It will also divert funds that could otherwise be spent on public transport improvements.The WestConnex tollway has been surrounded by controversy and increasing community opposition. An incoming Labor Government would have the ability to freeze Federal funding for it.There is $300 million in Federal grant funding and a $2 billion Federal loan which is not due to be finalised and paid until after the election on July 2. An incoming Federal government has the power to stop these payments.WE CALL ON LABOR TO COMMIT TO CANCELLING THESE PAYMENTS AND ANY FUTURE FUNDING SHOULD A FEDERAL LABOR GOVERNMENT BE ELECTED.WestConnex is a disaster on many levels: Contrary to the NSW Government’s spurious claims that the proposed tollroad will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would encourage car travel creating more traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Western Sydney needs better public transport services to the city and within Western Sydney, not an extra $100 a week per car in tolls. Even the NSW Government’s Environmental Impact Statement states this road will not work to reduce traffic congestion even in the medium term. It is massively expensive and the cost is spiraling out of control. It has increased by 68% in two years and is diverting money from other priorities such as public transport, schools and hospitals. The impact of WestConnex on communities in the inner west is devastating. It is heartbreaking to visit Haberfield as WestConnex smashes homes to the ground, displaces long-term residents, takes over green space and destroys trees. A Senate inquiry has been asked to investigate construction firm Leighton's involvement in the project after evidence about offshore bribery by a former executive came to light. It is time to change track as cities in advanced countries around the world are doing, and put the money into public and active transport instead of roads.
People with Multiple Sclerosis need access to Cardiovascular Screening
Dear Australian Health Minister and all Elected Representatives An Open Letter We are people living with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. In recent times researchers have cautioned that there is a high incidence of (undetected) cardiovascular disorders in people diagnosed with this condition – left undetected they warn that such incomplete diagnoses not only causes patients potential harm but cost health care systems (including governments) untold millions of dollars a year. Cost/benefit factors are highlighted at; .http://www.msnetwork.org/caution.htm#outcomes Australia is no exception..Large population studies confirm significant associations between the most common multiple sclerosis symptoms and vascular irregularities. .http://www.msnetwork.org/results/population-studies.htm Potential Harm to Patients Delayed or potentially incomplete diagnoses not only means that we may be getting expensive and potentially harmful treatments we don't need, but we are also not getting the appropriate treatment for the conditions we may have. Many in the Australian MS community are currently in this position. This situation is compounded because of extremely limited access to relevant and comprehensive independent cardiovascular assessment procedures.. Informed Patient Centred Decision Making is impeded. Without such access many of us are not able, in conjunction with our medical advisers, to make informed decisions about possible treatment options. While this situation has been highlighted in the Australian Parliament on several occasions since 2011 it is yet to be translated into policies and programs that effectively address what has become a very unhealthy situation.. Feedback is Vital Feedback from more than 3,000 Australian families, friends, carers and service providers has inspired the development of this Open Letter (more than 800 since April 2016). How your Voice can be Better Heard Here is the message that we all need to convey to our individual parliamentary representatives requesting confirmation of their position and that of their party. Please download and amend to highlight your specific circumstances. http://www.msnetwork.org/results/question.htm Draft Policies are on the Table During March 2016 two of Australia’s widely recognised consumer focused Multiple Sclerosis organisations (the Multiple Sclerosis Network of Care Australia and CCSVI Australia) jointly wrote to the Leaders of all Australian Political Parties on our behalf seeking clarification of each Party’s policy position on this matter. They specifically sought the bipartisan support of the Parliament ‘’to assist in accelerating the processes whereby what is being learnt regarding cardiovascular irregularities and MS is better translated into benefits for patients and reduced government outlays’’ Details of broadly based recommended policies and programs were also referenced, http://www.msnetwork.org/caution.htm#slow Acknowledgement by Australian Government On 29 June 2016 the substance of these representations was acknowledged by the Australian Coalition Government - while much more is needed this should be an important step in the right direction http://www.msnetwork.org/results/ccsvibenefits.htm Kerri Cassidy wins important Australian Award In December 2016 Judges said ''We are thrilled to announce that CCSVI Australia CEO, Kerri Cassidy, is the winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Justice and Rights Protection - for her long-term commitment to promoting justice and rights protection for people with disability. This is a reflection of her work in raising awareness and calling for equitable access to treatment for Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Kerri has demonstrated her determination and commitment to raising awareness about the need for justice and rights protection of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) through the equitable access to Chronic Cerebro Spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) treatment” http://www.msnetwork.org/expectations/ccsvipatient.htm Further Important Warning Bells A study of 140,020 people - 23,382 with MS and a matched control group of 116,638 - confirmed our concerns that the prevalence of other chronic conditions (including cardiovascular conditions) may be common in people newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). While the scope of this study does not appear to include chronic cerebro spinal vascular insufficiency (CCSVI) it does ring important warning bells. Separate research identifies up to 80% of the MS population as having CCSVI related comorbidities - adding even greater weight to our concerns about underlying cardiovascular disease http://www.msnetwork.org/caution.htm#cardiovascular Drawing a Line in the Sand Since the early 1990's neurologists have underpinned the management of Multiple Sclerosis on the belief that it is strongly associated with an overactive immune system. Treatment invariably involves''dampening down'' the immune system via a diverse range of immuno suppressant drugs. The global market for these drugs is approaching $20 billion p.a. - much of which is achieved through government subsidies. The highly respected National MS Society (USA) drew an important line in the sand in relation to these drugs when it said ''there are FDA-approved therapies that can impact the underlying disease course in people with the more common forms of MS. However, none of these can stop progression or reverse the damage to restore function". http://www.msnetwork.org/bloodflow/medications.htm The over-riding Issues The over-riding CCSVI issues are about Access and Protecting the Vulnerable.- see http://www.msnetwork.org/evidence/index.htm Your Commitment is Important to Us We would greatly appreciate your bipartisan support in progressing what is a very ‘’unhealthy’’ situation. Yours SincerelyYour Constituents This Open Letter is facilitated byPeter Sullivan and Kerri Cassidy, on behalf ofCCSVI Australia Reference GroupPO Box 10, Blackburn, VIC, 3130 Email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.msnetwork.org/ccsvi-reference-group.htm
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,
A Fair Start for Students
The future of our country currently lies in the hands of people who cannot make ends meet. Tertiary students are expected to complete 40 hours of study a week (the equivalent of full time work) while working to support themselves financially and living away from home, often not by choice. This means that in order to support themselves financially, students must currently make study a second priority. The biggest hindrance to students studying away from home is an inability to receive Centrelink payments. Young people are considered financially dependent on their parents until they are 22, by which point, many will have finished their degrees. It is unrealistic to expect that every student is in a position to be financially supported by their parents. The current Centrelink conditions imposed on students overlook the significant number of families that live between being poor enough to be eligible for Centrelink and wealthy enough to afford to support a child through university. If we truly want an agile economy, we need a young, educated and energetic workforce. How can we expect students to fill this role when they are beaten down by their living conditions and wondering when they are going to be able to eat their next meal?