- Shadow Minister for Education and Training
- Shadow Minister for Education and Training
Remove Senator Hanson from the Family Law Inquiry
Senator Pauline Hanson is so fundamentally compromised, that she should immediately recuse herself or be removed from the inquiry. The dealings of her own son with the Family Court and DV orders, and her using them as motivation to push for an inquiry, mean that there is clear apprehended bias on her part. She has also put her bias on Parliamentary record, making demonstrably untrue claims under Parliamentary privilege. It should be noted that her son pleaded guilty to breaching a DV order. She has shown that she will be unable to participate in this inquiry in a fair or impartial manner. In any judicial or investigatory role, such a conflict of interest would be untenable. It is clear that Senator Hanson is too emotionally and personally invested in Family Court procedures and ought not have any role in a Family Court Inquiry. No-one knows why the Coalition and its One Nation allies are wanting to waste taxpayer money on yet another inquiry, while the sixty recommendations of previous high-level inquiries remain unaddressed. “The Australian Law Reform Commission report, Family Law for the Future: An Inquiry into the Family Law System, was tabled in Parliament today by the Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP. The ALRC has made 60 recommendations for reform.” The Coalition and Senator Hanson’s sexism and biases have brought them together to ignore the recommendations of the recent Inquiry. They have both failed to prioritise the implementation of the recommendations in the report and instead have opted to waste tax payer’s money trying to get the answers they want to hear, not the answers provided by the experts. Decisions made by government should always be evidenced based. Decisions to hold inquiries should never be based on conveniently anonymous, generalised anecdotes which is all Senator Hanson has proffered. Senator Hanson has provided no evidence to support her assertions. As a developed, progressive nation, we expect our politicians to be informed by data and research, not biases and prejudices. Senator Hanson’s appointment is a slap in the face to every woman who has struggled to:- protect children during a fraught divorce process;- have their experiences of rape, assault, violence and abuse believed, taken seriously or acted upon;- be paid appropriate child support, or have arrears pursued Pauline Hanson’s family law inquiry will be a victim-blaming and shaming farce that vilifies single mums and domestic violence survivors. The Prime Minister must turf her now.
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.
"Axe the Tax" On Reusable Sanitary Products Petition
UPDATE - We are delighted to announce that Australian Greens Senator, Janet Rice has contacted Modibodi to inform us that reusable hygiene products such as period cups, reusable pads and period underwear have now been added to the Axe the Tampon Tax Bill 2018. More details about the amended Bill can be found here. We ask that you continue to share this petition to raise more awareness about the campaign and assist the Greens and Labor parties in Axing the Tax on ALL menstrual hygiene products. Senator, Janet Rice states, “The Bill that I recently introduced to parliament to remove the unfair tax on sanitary items includes reusable products, because The Greens believe people who menstruate should be able to access menstrual products that are both affordable and sustainable. You can join our campaign and be the first to hear updates about the bill at greens.org.au/tampon-tax ” Thank you for your support. On Sunday 29th April 2018 the Greens and Labor joint announcement to push for the removal of GST on sanitary products, however this announcement only applies to sanitary menstrual disposable products like pads and tampons. Reusable options such as period underwear, menstrual cups, reusable pads and other sustainable options have not been included in the proposed exemption Modibodi, Hannah Pad, Juju Cup and Lunette have teamed up to ask Federal Minister for Labor, Tanya Plibersek and Australian Greens Senator, Janet Rice to change this position, as it is dismissing the impact of these disposable products on our landfill and our waterways. Sign the petition to support "Axe the tax" on all sanitary menstrual products like period and leak-proof underwear, menstrual cups and washable pads. Women and our world deserve access to both affordable but sustainable menstrual solutions. FACT Every disposable pad uses 4 plastic bags Every tampon box and disposable pad is wrapped in layers of plastic Most of the mainstream disposable products still use chemicals in the production of their products, which are then dumped further damaging our environment The production process to make a single use product uses the same amount of energy and water to produce a reusable product Every menstrual woman will use over 15,000 disposable pads-tampons in her menstrual years. All of which are dumped into our landfill, or worse flushed down our waterways with no care for the impact they are having on our environment
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.
The catchment area drawn up for the new Inner Sydney High School excludes locals
We feel strongly that our children should not be excluded from the brand-new school that's being built on their doorstep. Kids from areas as far away as Double Bay and Woollahra are in the catchment area of the new Inner Sydney High School on Cleveland Street, yet children who live across the road in Redfern are to be left out. Our children will have to walk past the brand-new school to catch the bus to attend schools much further away. Another school is being built in Alexandria but that one will barely cover the expected enrolment from nearby Green Square, with its 60,000 residents. We are calling on Education Minister Rob Stokes to urgently review the Inner Sydney High School catchment boundaries to include families who live at its doorstep.
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 it is yet to be translated into policies and programs that effectively address what has become a very unhealthy situation... We believe that our concerns are consistent with Australia's National Strategy for heart, stroke and vascular health that provides a blueprint for improving the cardiovascular health of Australians by implementing national action to support consumers and general practitioners to match treatment to the level of risk from vascular events. Our experience is that the high incidence of vascular problems among those with MS is yet to be properly addressed by this Strategy. http://www.msnetwork.org/caution.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’’http://www.msnetwork.org/caution.htm#outcomes 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 was an important step in the right direction http://www.msnetwork.org/results/ccsvibenefits.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 chronic cardiovascular conditions is common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Separate research identifies up to 80% of the MS population as having CCSVI related comorbidities. http://www.msnetwork.org/caution.htm#cardiovascular Drawing a Line in the Sand Since the early 1990's many 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, 3130Email email@example.com 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,
Cure Huntington's Disease (HD) with IVF & PGD
Prepare yourself for a long read. Huntington's Disease (HD) is an inherited, genetic disorder from a defective gene that attacks nerve cells in the brain resulting in them to break down over time. As it is hereditary if a parent has the gene, each child has a genetic 50/50 chance of inheriting it or escaping it.Symptoms include forms of nervous activity like fidgeting, minor twitching in fingers and toes; excessive restlessness; some clumsiness; slight alterations in handwriting; andminor difficulty with normal daily physical skills like driving. Along with physical symptoms, there are often mental problems as well such as; short-term memory loss; less ability to organise routine tasks or to cope with new situations; periods of depression, apathy and irritability; and impulsiveness. The best day a couple will have is (usually) the day they find out they will be parents. Nothing fills you with more pride or joy nothing in life gives you more purpose. You instantly become overjoyed and start planning your future as a family you imagine the holiday trips you will go on, the experiences you will have life becomes more then you expected and it's amazing. But.. what happens when your world turns upside down and you are forced to choose between having the child you have always wanted and saying goodbye. This is the hard side of HD. At 16 weeks gestation, we found out our child had Huntington's Disease one of the world's cruelest diseases, a debilitating illness that would see our child in the prime of his life stripped of his motor functions stripped of his dignity and battling for life. So on July 3rd, 2019, we made the hardest decision any parent will ever have to make, to terminate and say goodbye to our baby boy. He was born at 17 weeks, 120 grams and 17.5 centimeters. Three weeks on the tears haven't settled, the heartache has not faded but our anger has risen because we shouldn't have had to do this there is a way to prevent this. Not only prevent this but in only one generation almost eradicate the disease completely! Unfortunately IVF & Genetic Testing for most it's out of reach at $13,000+ upfront cost, not to mention if the cycle doesn't work - add another 10k upfront to your expenses per cycle. Yes medicare does help but it's not enough.The government complains about welfare expenses, these pensions and disability support services for people who for example have Huntington's Disease (and other genetic problems), make their life livable - yes. But the cost to care for an individual with HD outweighs the cost of IVF massively. If couples were provided a chance to start a family without the repercussions of this disease through subsidized IVF & PGD, the world would be a better place. #curehdwithpgdWe said goodbye to our son, to save him a life of misery. HD is prominent in my family, and I couldn't bear to bring another human in this world that would have to succumb to such a horrible disease. Huntington's Victoria have also started a petition for this cause Information used is based on personal experience, Google searches and the Association's publication Huntington's Disease. Originally written by Dennis H. Phillips, Ph.D. and first published in 1981, it has been frequently revised and republished since then. The current edition was published in 2001. (Australian Huntington's Disease Association (NSW) Inc. Huntington's Disease West Ryde, 2001.)