• Dis-abling Discrimination!
    Living with a Permanent, Profound and Severe Disability is not cheap. The page addressed below gives a detailed account of such, but you only need to glance at the first sentence to understand how ‘Disabling’ the Disability Support Pension really is :o( http://www.melleckie.com/Pages/AppendixC.aspx Having a disability for life is currently physically; financially; socially; emotionally; and psychologically taxing – and not just for the person living with disabilities, but many of these challenges and demands are passed on to their family, friends, carer(s) and colleagues too. As Senator Fifield stated at the 2012 National Disability Services Conference: “I think part of the reason why many people on the disability support pension find it a real struggle is because the DSP, we’re looking at it to do more things than it was intended to do. The DSP is meant to be an income support but because there isn’t proper support for people with disability, people have to use that DSP money to seek to purchase forms of support which they aren’t receiving. So we’re expecting it to be income support but we’re also expecting it to do far more than that. Part of the answer is an NDIS so that people don’t have to try and make the DSP do things that it was never designed to do.” The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is long overdue and will provide a lifeline to the families that need it most. The downside is the number of years it will take to get such a vital and revolutionary system running successfully across Australia. For those living with permanent disabilities that may be able to work: Whether full time, part time, casual or intermittent; enabling people to enter the workforce without discrimination or any loss of necessary support would not only assist each individual by enhancing their personal goals and aspirations, it would also educate the general public and remove much of the stigma that engulfs many people currently living with lifelong disabilities. As well as giving those living with ongoing disabilities the opportunity to contribute to society and local communities to the best of their ability, another advantage of removing the income/assets tests for people with permanent disabilities (to receive full DSP), could also include reducing excessive waiting lists and the ongoing financial strain that currently exists in all Federal, State and Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s) that support people with disabilities. For Example, If a (relatively independent) wheelchair bound individual was empowered and able to work and earn an income (pay taxes) and still receive the disability support pension as those Blind or Vision Impaired have always been able to do: They would be able to use their pension to cover the ongoing and extensive medical costs (appointments, prescriptions, catheters etc.) live a functional and meaningful life and potentially (income dependent) purchase their own future equipment (wheelchair), house and necessary home modifications without having to rely on the State’s Disability Services and indefinite waiting times to fund all of the above!
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    Created by Mel Leckie Picture
  • WE CARE! Education Warriors care about education, teachers ...and promises being kept.
    I heard that more and more Victorian teachers are leaving to take up positions in private schools, interstate or overseas. When I asked my mum why they were leaving us, she explained that they, too, have families to support and a future to plan for. I guess it is understandable that they would look for better working conditions and better pay. They probably also think that their work isn't appreciated by our government, parents and students. I know that they are very disappointent with Mr Baillieu for not keeping his promise. At my school, Spring Gully Primary School, one of my favorite teachers didn't come back after the June holidays. The newsletter said that he was leaving 'due to limited job security'. Another one of my favorite teachers (I've got heaps of favorite teachers!) is leaving next year to work overseas. Now I am really worried! At the beginning of June, I wrote a long letter to The Premier urging him to keep the promise he made, but he passed the letter (and problem) on to the Hon. Peter Hall, MLC. I think we all need to tell the Premier that we are not happy with the way he is dealing with this very important issue, and show our teachers that WE CARE! If you CARE and agree with me, become an Education Warrior by signing this petition.
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    Created by Tomi Rodoni
  • Protect Australia’s Right to Recreational Fishing
    5 million Australians fish recreationally that’s your Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister Friends and Family. At some point it is most likely we all have fished recreationally either on a regular basis or the family holiday. Chances are that you know someone that works in the recreational fishing industry. Excluding an estimated 7 million kilometres of Australian water will cost countless jobs and impact communities some of which we enjoy on our family holidays each and every year. Recreational Fishers do care for the state of the environment and the state of the Australian fishery. We respect the laws and fish within them. We are responsible and are Australians with a voice. We agree area’s sensitive to the protection of our fishery should be protected, if this backed up with sound evidence of impact upon that habit or species. Protection of our marine environment concerns all 22,681,487 Australians including the 5 million who choose to fish recreationally.
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    Created by Grant Johnson
  • Far North QLD Community against Proposed Mining Lease
    Baal Gammon Pty Ltd and Monto Minerals Ltd. are responsible for contaminating the drinking water of local residents at Watsonville with Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Manganese, Nickel and Lead in concentrations which exceed Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. What has happened….... Although the Creek already contained high levels of some contaminants as a result of historical mining activities – this spill increased the concentration and type of contaminants released into Jamie Creek. Exposure to Arsenic increases prevalence in skin lesions even at exposure levels in the range of 0.005–0.01 mg/l. Water samples from Jamie Creek have been recorded at twice that level in February and March 2012 after the spill, and still well above this level (0.015 mg/l) into May 2012 – 3 months later. Chronic effects of arsenic exposure via drinking water include skin lesions, neurological effects, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes mellitus, and malignancies including skin cancer. Based on health considerations, the concentration of cadmium in drinking water should not exceed 0.002 mg/L. On the 7 March 2012 levels were found to be 0.0922 mg/L in Jamie Creek below the mine site - 46 times higher than the acceptable limits, yet residents were not informed that their water was unsafe to drink until 16 March 2012. In humans, long-term or high dose exposure to cadmium can cause serious kidney dysfunction. Other effects can include softening of the bones. According to current knowledge, renal tubular damage is probably the critical health effect of cadmium exposure - and WHO research indicates it is also a human carcinogen. Baal Gammon Copper Pty Ltd told local residents that it would clean up the area when they applied for their permit, and lower the soil contamination associated with historical mining on the mining lease.... Nothing has been done..... Baal Gammon Copper Pty Ltd has submitted an application to develop another mining lease adjacent to the current mine. (Chronic health effects in people exposed to arsenic via the drinking water: dose–response relationships in review. Takahiko Yoshida, Hiroshi Yamauchi, Gui Fan Sun. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 198, Issue 3, 1 August 2004, Pages 243–252 available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041008X04000948 NRMMC (2011) Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Paper 6 National Water Quality Management Strategy. National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.) Is this the standard of mining operations that Queenslanders are supposed to expect from mining companies?
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    Created by Crystal Stone
  • Save SA from Stronger Futures
    Aboriginal communities have suffered enough. Australia has a sad history with its First Peoples and sadly, Stronger Futures assures the injustice will continue into the future. Stronger Futures is a legislation that has been passed without adequate consultation and with a high degree of discrimination. It operates out of a punitive and controlling approach. For positive change, for the betterment of Australia and Indigenous communities, we are calling on SA to demand more. We CAN be consultative. We CAN be empowering. We CAN be in communication with Aboriginal elders and leaders to determine the positive and appropriate way ahead.
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    Created by Sarah WIlliamson
  • Save Swinburne Lilydale University of Technology
    We also need our representatives in State Parliament to reconsider the impact of decfreasing funding for public TAFE courses across the State at all institutions, as this opens the door for somewhat unaccountable private operators and providers to offer substandard TAFE training. At a time when Universities over-enrolled students from lower socio-economic status in 2011 to capture additional targetted Federal funding for these students there was no accompanying mandate that they were supported by strong education and quality academic support. Many of Swinburne Lilydale's students would not have enrolled in ANY tertiary education, especially not higher education with access to a regional campus. The over-enrolment at Swinburne Lilydale's Higher Education Division in 2011 meant that at the start of 2012, our University student progression rate is 2% points lower than what is deemed acceptable and we have a temporarily lowered enrolment for 2012. These students must be able to have their existing courses taught out ON CAMPUS at Lilydale to ensure the students do not drop out entirely. The TAFE students must continue to be trained in skills and vocational courses that supply the employment demands of the local community. Courses being closed at Lilydale TAFE include Automotive and Hospitality and Tourism, in a TAFE that services the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. Our region also has a very low Indigenous student participation rate and we owe qulaity access to higher education to our local Healesville and surrounding Indigenous residents access to education on their land. To see the Community support mobilising for this action already since the announcement less than a fortnight ago, here is a Youtube link: We also need our representatives in State Parliament to reconsider the impact of decfreasing funding for public TAFE courses across the State at all institutions, as this opens the door for somewhat unaccountable private operators and providers to offer substandard TAFE training. At a time when Universities over-enrolled students from lower socio-economic status in 2011 to capture additional targetted Federal funding for these students there was no accompanying mandate that they were supported by strong education and quality academic support. Many of Swinburne Lilydale's students would not have enrolled in ANY tertiary education, especially not higher education with access to a regional campus. The over-enrolment at Swinburne Lilydale's Higher Education Division in 2011 meant that at the start of 2012, our University student progression rate is 2% points lower than what is deemed acceptable and we have a temporarily lowered enrolment for 2012. These students must be able to have their existing courses taught out ON CAMPUS at Lilydale to ensure the students do not drop out entirely. The TAFE students must continue to be trained in skills and vocational courses that supply the employment demands of the local community. Courses being closed at Lilydale TAFE include Automotive and Hospitality and Tourism, in a TAFE that services the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. Our region also has a very low Indigenous student participation rate and we owe qulaity access to higher education to our local Healesville and surrounding Indigenous residents access to education on their land. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j71YgAO1BBQ&feature=youtu.be We are seeking the signatures of 25,000 concerned Victorians to save public TAFE education and our very special dual institution (TAFE and University). This is the petition link. http://www.nteu.org.au/swinburne/campaigns/sos
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    Created by Carol-Anne Croker
  • Multi -purpose Court and Club House for Sisters Beach Community
    The permanant and holiday Community of Sisters Beach has undergone major growth in the last 10 years. No longer is it a "shack" holiday only village, but a community with the majority of residents permanent with young families or grandchildren. It is important for the community to remain physically and mentally fit and healthy and a multi-purpose Court and Club House would enable many rosters and activities to take place. From playgroup for young mothers/ fathers/grandparents/carers. Court for sports Tennis, Netball, Basketball, Volley Ball, Footsal. It could also be a venue for gentle fitness activities yoga, circuits or not so gentle boot camp. The Club room /social area could be used for multi purpose use for many social activities only limited by the imagination. Art, Craft , "mens/people" Shed etc.
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    Created by lindi dornauf Picture
  • Save, Protect and Rezone Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula.
    *****UPDATE 2017***** The Tootgarook Swamp, also sometimes called Boneo swamp is a groundwater dependent wetland (fen) found on the Nepean Peninsula in Victoria. It is the largest example left of a Shallow freshwater marsh in the entire Port Phillip bay and Western Port Bay region, at ~650 hectares (According to the Tootgarook Wetland Ramsar Nomination Feasibility Study 2015 BMT WBM for the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council) it is worthy of international Ramsar protection. Much of the Tootgarook swamp is inappropriately zoned as residential, and industrial with a large portion of it outside the green wedge. This key area of biodiversity at the urban Growth Boundary is the area most under threat is inappropriately zoned to the north and has been identified in a report (Purnell, C and Herman, K., 2016. Tootgarook Swamp Bird Monitoring Program – Year 2 Annual Report. Unpublished report prepared for the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council by BirdLife Australia) as Core range and nationally significant, critical habitat for the Australasian Bittern (EN, EPBC) and a range other EPBC and FFG listed species. The largest accumulations of waterbirds was observed across this particular area of the Tootgarook Swamp. The swamp contains fifteen state, federal, and international protected species of fauna, along with another seven-species listed as vulnerable. The majority of species threatened with extinction in Victoria are wetland dependent. Tootgarook Swamp has so far recorded 159 bird species, 13 reptilian species, 9 amphibious frog species and 12 mammals, including 5 bats, no full survey of the entire swamp has ever been done to show its true value, and much of the current data has been collected during drought time. Though recently the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has made steps to undertake the larger bird and fauna surveys and has undertaken the Tootgarook Wetlands strategy thanks to your support something that we have been heavily involved in and we are continuing to gather data from bird surveys it is one facet that has been yielding results The swamp is also home to at least nine bioregional endangered plant communities. (Update) Though a local ecologist believes up to 24 bioregional endangered plant communities exist within the swamp and updated on ground flora surveys need to be commenced. There had been approximately 80 hectares is marked with (update) no present development proposals we have been successful at VCAT (most recent Nov 2016) with other stakeholders in showing the value of the Tootgarook Swamp. Instead of coming up continually against inappropriate development rezoning is needed. Though within this area the biggest threat the most significant risk to this area, similar to Roe8 in Western Australia is a freeway reservation for the Southern Peninsula section of what is known as Peninsula Link it cuts though the most sensitive area of the entire wetland. Did you know there are only 4% of total wetlands left in Victoria that are greater than 100 hectares , and of the original wetlands in the state we have already lost over 37% in the last 200 years. Of the 100% of shallow fresh water marshes in Victoria, 60% has been destroyed. It has high cultural significance for the Bunurong / Boonerwrung people of the Kulin nation, it’s name purportedly meaning land of the growling frog. High scientific value also exists as pointed out by Sir Frederick Chapman in 1919, Australia’s first nationally appointed palaeontologist and world authority in the field of ostracods (a type of small crustacean), and close companion and co-worker with Sir Douglas Mawson. Sir Chapman personally visited and studied within Tootgarook Swamp where he catalogued numerous fossils and ostropod species not seen anywhere else but in Tasmania showing a link of a land bridge between the two states. The Tootgarook swamp is described by Geologist A. Shugg as “The swamp is a natural groundwater discharge area lying close to sea level” and that “The swamp forms a window to the aquifer through which ground water discharges”. Climate change wise the Tootgarook Swamp is a peat regenerating wetland, the most threatened form of wetland type internationally, as a peat regenerating wetland it is a major carbon storehouse (Blue Carbon), exceeding that of forests. You might wonder, will the loss of a few wetlands like Tootgarook Swamp really make much difference? Well, biodiversity is a complex fragile structure. It may be helpful to think of the ecosystem as a woven carpet, if you pull on a loose thread it might only affect the thread and those closest to it, or it might unravel the whole carpet. Wetlands are threads keeping the ecosystem carpet together and as we pull out more wetland threads the ecosystem begins to unravel causing lots of problems. So help us keep this unique wetland for our biodiversity and future generations, View our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ6effLtymA&feature=player_detailpage or for even more information and photos check out our website http://www.savetootgarookswamp.org A short film was also made by Anthony Kelly for the Peninsular Short Film Festival. While it did not succeed in being selected for the festival, we think it is a beautiful depiction of the swamp and its wildlife. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNuM-YVZgGY&feature=share Mornington Peninsula Shire has also had some short films made in relation to it Bird monitoring program with Birdlife Australia. Birdlife Video 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SCsjhaCZPc Birdlife Video 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZJNIYzv9G8 Or even join our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SaveTootgarookSwampInc?ref=hl
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    Created by Cameron Brown Picture
  • Save the Penguins of Lipson Island!
    Lipson Island may be more important as a bird rookery than we know. While Centrex's report predicts the colony to be in decline, it does so simply because this is the trend at other monitored sites in South Australia. This assumption was made without conducting a formal count of the existing Little Blue Penguin population on Lipson Island. As this is the northern most Little Blue Penguin colony in Spencer Gulf, we believe this assumption to be irresponsible. It demonstrates the company's lack of will to show due diligence with their environmental assessment of the project's impact, and a reluctance to accept responsibility for future impacts to the colony and other present rare, vulnerable and endangered species.
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    Created by Dan Monceaux Picture
  • Stop the Gillard Government's attack on aged care
    The announcement of funding cuts for residential aged care is an alarming outcome for an industry already suffering unprecedented strain. Smaller aged care operators are already struggling to survive under existing funding arrangements and these cutbacks have the potential to force smaller aged care providers across rural Australia to down-size their operations. Even larger metropolitan residential care providers are considering their futures and their ability to continue their current levels of aged care services. This decision will cripple not for profit aged care providers and their ability to care for older Australians and will jeopardise the future of all Australians. Who will care for our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers...who will care for us? The Federal Governments move to slash subsidies for aged care residents will hurt one of society’s most vulnerable groups. YOUR MUM IS IN A RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY...WILL THIS BE HER STORY? Your 89-year-old Mum is in a residential aged care facility requiring high care. She needs two staff members in order to leave her bed and needs everything done for her including being fed, toileted, washed and given her medicine. Mum’s care provider receives just $113 per day for her care, which includes staff wages, food, equipment, electricity to keep her warm, laundry and other amenities. Her aged care provider already tops up this figure to provide her with quality care. Mum has become more frail and has to go to hospital and she is assessed as needed a greater level of care. On her return home to the aged care facility, her care provider will now only receive $57 per day. This is despite her becoming more frail and the cost of her care increasing. How can that provider give her the care she needs? In contrast, the national average to accommodate a prisoner per day is $216, or $62 to care for a large dog in a boarding kennel. Older Australians deserve a lot better. PLEASE SUPPORT OUR PETITION TO STOP THE GILLARD GOVERNMENT'S ATTACK ON AGED CARE
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    Created by Aged Care Funding Cuts
  • Stop the building of a Mobile Telecommunication Tower at Snapper Point, Aldinga Beach.
    The SA coastline is well known for its natural beauty and protected reef, both of which are strong selling points for the area. Its also a focal point for tourism and the world famous Tour Down Under. We want to conserve this beauty and not destroy the amenity of the local residents.
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    Created by David Snailham
  • Prohibiting cigarette sales to people born after 2000
    Every year three foreign companies are allowed to take a combined profit of more than $500 million from the Australian market while leaving us with a combined social cost of over $31 billion. That is thanks to three million Australians continue to smoke and 70,000 young people are recruited into the ranks every year. 15,500 Australians die every year from smoking-related diseases. The phase-out proposal ensures that current smokers will be unaffected while future generations will be protected. This petition is copied from the award winning Cameron Nolan, who is a Masters of Public Administration Candidate in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. This article won the Australian Fabians Young Writers Competition for 2012.
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    Created by Kimon Lycos Picture