• Save the integrity of our Environment Minister: No conflicting portfolios
    This week, in a devastating blow to our environment, Malcolm Turnbull has announced his Government will no longer have a sole Environment Minister, and the Environment portfolio will be combined with the Energy portfolio.1 This consolidation of responsibilities represents an unacceptable conflict of interest.2 Furthermore, Malcolm has appointed Josh Frydenberg for this role, a minister who openly supports the expansion of coal mining across Australia, despite his position that there is a “strong moral case” for coal3 is at odds with the policies and research of the World Bank, the UN and the global energy agencies3,4. Of further concern, Frydenberg has said the government was keen to curb “vexatious litigation” from citizens opposed to mining projects over their impact upon the climate, water supplies and threatened species.3 This appointment comes at a time when: 1. The first six months of 2016 has had temperatures ~1.38 °C above average.5 2. 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has been affected by coral bleaching,6 3. Mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, essential to filtering water from the mainland, and breeding fish, are dying back;7 Josh supported the approval of Adani’s huge Carmichael coal mine in QLD, which will export up to 60m tonnes of coal a year through the Great Barrier Reef. Australians were concerned about this coal mining expansion8 and many anticipated the dredging would impact the reef while Government officials denied it would be affected,9 and now?.. Bleached. To highlight the conflict of interest between the Environment and Energy portfolios, this month we have seen Rio Tinto trying to sell its massive Blair Athol coal mine for $1 … ultimately transferring the risk & costs for environmental rehabilitation back on the Queensland taxpayer.10 A heartbreaking example of sacrificing our environment for the interests of coal mining companies is the handover this month of historical “Tarwyn Park”, the home of ‘Natural Sequence Farming’, to a Korean owned coal mining company; now, the farm of Peter Andrews, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for “service to conservation and the environment through the development and promotion of sustainable farming practises” will become an open cut coal mine. 11 Shale gas fracking, overseen by the Energy Minister, is known to be detrimental to the environment; "from contaminated water, to marred landscapes, to increased global warming pollution, fracking has been an environmental disaster".12 Despite this, the Never Never region of the Northern Territory is poised to be fracked.13 Without a dedicated Environment minister, Australians facing genuine environmental concerns on the frontline risk having no receptive representation at the Federal level to turn to. On a daily basis our agricultural and rural communities are facing threats from mining, for example: • Bulga residents have fought for six years to save their town from the Warkworth coal mine expansion. 14 They won two court cases against the project, but Rio Tinto and the NSW Government joined forces against them, and re-approved the mine. Now, Bulga residents are out of options ~ wouldn’t it be appropriate if they had a Federal Environment Minister they could turn to who didn’t also directly support the very industry that is threatening them? • In the Pilliga forest, Santos aim to drill 850 coal seam gas wells.15 Despite insisting CSG projects pose no threat to our water supply, Santos has poisoned an aquifer in the Pilliga Forest.16 Now, the aquifer is filled with uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water levels, with elevated levels of arsenic, lead, aluminium, nickel, barium and boron. Their planned Narrabri Gas Project risks the Great Artesian Basin, a lifeline for many of the driest parts of Australia representing future water security for many. How can one Minister be legitimately and fairly responsible both for the mining and the environment in this situation? We demand an Environment Minister who understands the gravity of climate change, and acknowledges the urgent need to effectively protect our land & water to sustain Australians for generations to come. Keeping this portfolio with Josh Frydenberg, a vocal advocate for coal, who is also responsible for the Energy portfolio, presents an unacceptable conflict of interest. 1. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-18/malcolm-turnbull-unveils-new-look-ministry/7638492 2. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/combined-energy-and-environment-portfolio-for-josh-frydenberg-a-huge-blow-for-great-barrier-reef-20160718-gq89eo.html 3. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/18/josh-frydenberg-puts-strong-moral-case-for-coal-exports-to-prevent-deaths 4. http://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/edward-cavanough/coal-wont-solve-energy-poverty-renewables-will/?utm_content=buffer9fbf9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer 5. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/summary.shtml 6. https://www.coralcoe.org.au/only-7-of-the-great-barrier-reef-has-avoided-coral-bleaching/ 7. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queenslands-mangrove-ecosystem-dying-in-secret-20160515-govikm.html 8. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2011/11/03/3355047.htm 9. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/julie-bishop-chides-barack-obama-over-climate-change-remarks/5906570 10. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-12/rio-tinto-selling-massive-queensland-coal-mine-for-dollar/7588916 11. http://tarwynpark.com/ 12. http://www.ecowatch.com/10-years-of-fracking-its-impact-on-our-water-land-and-climate-1891114363.html 13. http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/rinehart-and-shale-gas-companies-licensed-frack-indigenous-and-pastoral-land 14. http://www.singletonargus.com.au/story/3487977/rally-to-save-bulga/ 15. http://www.csgfreenorthwest.org.au/ 16. http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/2137939/santos-fined-1500-uranium-at-20-times-safe-levels
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    Created by Julia Walsh Picture
  • Save CSIRO Climate Scientists - CSIRO Board suspend CEO LarryMarshal
    Larry Marshal's autocratic decision threatens a globally important function of the CSIRO, climate change modelling. It also risks the loss of up to 350 highly skilled Climate Scientists and modelers. There is national and international outrage against Mr Marshal's decision plus his clear lack of consultation with key stakeholders and the CSIRO Board. His decision must be subject to due process and wider community consultation. The CSIRO is not the private domain or plaything of one man, his ego or his positional power. The CSIRO is a national asset where capacity takes years to build, no one has the right to make arbitrary decisions of this significance.
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    Created by Bill MacDonald
  • End the hysterical persecution of Law Abiding Gun Owners (LAGO)
    Law abiding gun owners have become the focus of a number of factional group and political leftists such as the Greens. They seek to make legal gun ownership impossible for the average citizen inspite of the fact that their draconian efforts have been shown to have no effect on the rate of gun use by criminals who, by their very nature, ignore the very bans these people seek to impose on lawful gun owners who comply with the regulations in every respect. The focus of their efforts needs to change from one of persecuting legal gun owners to more effective boarder controls to prevent black markets firearms being imported into this country as well as more efficient policing to track down illegal firearms. Increase the penalties for illegal ownership and the use of a firearm in ANY crime and stop persecuting people who choose to pursue a great hobby and an Olympic sport.
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    Created by Steve Fenech
  • Raising the standard of politics
    It has been said that low trust is the biggest tax we will ever pay as every interaction takes longer when trust is low! A two-line email can take an hour to write when trust is low. Trust in politicians is now so low more and more of us are disengaging from politics (not just disaffected youth or Muslims) as the best way to drive social discourse. True leaders ask difficult questions and listen to the responses. In case there is any confusion here are a few examples. We don’t trust you to: 1. be honest with us. We understand people change their minds with better information but we believe you make election promises you never intend to fulfill and then repeat the same patronising denials until everyone gets sick of it. 2. not to put self interest ahead of what's good for Australia. We believe you denigrate and ridicule good ideas from the other party simply to boost your electoral prospects. 3. not silence really important conversations with rhetoric designed to incite fear and distrust and promote your electoral prospects. 4. engage the community in really difficult conversations where you can’t control the answer. 5. not to label anyone with a differing opinion to yours as un-Australian, crossing the line or not on the team. As probably the first generation ever to hand the world on to our children in a worse state than we inherited it, it’s a sad indictment that many of your voters feel the really big conversations (climate change, security etc.) are too important to entrust to politicians.
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    Created by Andrew Lee
  • Child support payments are grossly miscalculated.
    There needs to be a more reasonable and fairer way to calculate child support payment amounts. Currently it is calculated on a gross income, before tax. This has been the practice for many years and it is wrong and there must be a better way. I believe that there is: It should be after we pay tax not before, as this reflects the true amount we have at our disposal for bills, food, clothing and child support etc. We can't pay with money that we don't receive every week. I am referring to all of the paying parents who are struggling, working hard, to make ends meet while still meeting the commitment to pay child support for their children. This is not about letting people off with not paying. Every parent of a child/children has the responsibility to help pay for the child/children's future. It just needs to be based on the real money in our pockets. I, like many others, have no issue with paying my fair share to support my child. I do take offence when my and my families ability to afford to live is impacted upon because of the way the payments are calculated. I don't make mortgage payments, pay school fees or buy groceries with the tax I pay, I pay for all of this with my take home income.
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    Created by Karen Smith
  • Support Science Debates for all Major Politicians Running for Office
    Science affects everything but most politicians manage to avoid talking about it because a lot of science and scientific research has to do with consequences beyond the limited terms of politicians. In other words, if they can get away with not talking about something in order to get elected, they'll happily throw your children under the bus.
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    Created by matthew chapman
  • Re Register worlds oldest rock carvings on Burrup Peninsular
    “It is without question one of the most important heritage locations in Australia and arguably the world; an ancient cultural and historical record of our nation’s first peoples. - See more at: https://newmatilda.com/2015/04/30/wa-government-deregisters-worlds-oldest-rock-art-collection-sacred-site#sthash.I6XryHfV.dpuf
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    Created by Nicholas Walker
  • Australian Women & Children & Domestic Violence, Judicial Abuse, Human Rights Violations Overseas
    Innocent & vulnerable Australian women & children who have & are experiencing domestic violence, systemic & judicial abuse & human rights violation overseas are continually denied any of the care, concern, compassion, advocacy, support & resources readily provided to Australian citizens involved in or convicted of criminal activity overseas. They are ignored by all politicians, the publicly & privately funded media & supposed advocates! This is despite very public rhetoric of "zero tolerance of violence against women & children" & despite international advocacy by the Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls & Australian involvement in the UN Political Declaration from the recent UN Conference on the Status of Women! Government cares enough to count how many men are killed overseas in terrorist combat but ignores how many Australian women and children are killed, harmed or traumatised by domestic violence, injustice and human rights abuses overseas! For further information please see Facebook page "Domestic Violence Despair".
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    Created by Helen Smith Picture
  • Fairness in Taxation
    Every 'Pay As You Earn' employee pays his/her share of tax before their pay goes into their bank accounts. Most small business people work long hours, risk personal assets and pay their share of tax. Pensioners have paid their share of tax throughout their lives.University students who are at risk of paying a lot more for the education will eventually have to pay their share of taxation as PAYE employees THEN WHY SHOULDN'T THE MULTINATIONALS AND PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD CLEVER LAWYERS PAY THEIR SHARE TOO??? IF THEY EARN IT HERE THEY PAY TAX HERE. AT A TIME WHEN THE LESS WEALTHY ARE BEING ASKED TO DO THE 'HEAVY LIFTING' LETS GET THE LAWS IN PLACE TO FORCE THESE BLUDGERS TO MEET THEIR MORAL AND SOON TO BE LEGAL OBLIGATIONS. IT IS UP TO US TO FORCE THE POLITICIANS NO MATTER WHAT PARTY TO DO THEIR JOB. THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IT IS A MORAL AND EQUITY CAMPAIGN. IF THE POLITICIANS OF TODAY DON'T ACT LET US AS A COMMUNITY ACT AND GET RID OT THEM.
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    Created by Danny McEvoy
  • Don't do it all over again: Stop the forced removal of Aboriginal People!
    The unequal health status of Indigenous People in Australia continues to be a human rights concern, despite our self–appointed ‘Prime Minster for Indigenous Australians’ and programs like 'Close The Gap'. A strong attachment to traditional culture and homelands directly advances health and wellbeing and improves socioeconomic outcomes (Dockery, 2012), yet Barnett plans to close up to 150 homelands in WA. He wants to re-enact the forced removal of Aboriginal People from the lands of their ancestors, to once again practice deliberate strategies of dispossession and cultural extinction. Enhancing cultural attachment is life-saving, not lifestyle, it’s the solution not the problem. Stop the crap and close the gap - not the homelands.
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    Created by mary goslett
  • A.D.F. deployment
    Although I understand the importance of our security arrangements with the U.S.A., surely this does not mean that we should slavishly follow the U.S. from one foreign policy failure to another. Since the second world war we have been involved in various disasterous military engagements such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan,back to Iraq and now, just as we free ourselves from the Middle East, for political expedience we find ourselves back in Iraq\ Syria. Australians are fighting and being killed in our names for the most spurious of reasons and I believe this appalling state of affairs obviously needs greater oversight, as described in my petition.
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    Created by Peter Lipscombe
  • Release childen from detention centres NOW!
    The Human Rights Commission report provides graphic evidence of the damage done to children in detention. The danger of emotional damage and mental illness, lasting into adulthood, from a range of harms including sexual abuse cannot be overstated. Why would we countenance this at the same time time we are pursuing abusers of children in a nationwide Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse; at the same time our Parliament is begging Indonesia for clemency for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan? This is a national shame, and a betrayal of our common humanity.
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    Created by Kay Boulden Picture