• BUPA: Stop disadvantaging Defence personnel by restricting their choice of Psychologist
    BUPA's contract specifies an arbitrary distinction and significant rebate differential between sub-types of psychologists, while all other health professionals (eg. Podiatry, Physio, OT, Speech Therapy etc.) have one simple fee structure. For example, for a 51-90 minute consultation, psychologists with clinical, neuro or forensic endorsement are rebated $303.14 while all other psychologists (some with many years experience, ADF experience, certification in EMDR, Schema therapy etc) are rebated $164.83 for the same service. Interestingly, the Australian Psychological Society's recommended fee for psychological services is $254 for a 46-60 min consult. The rebate is significantly lower for most Psychologists (45% lower) and there will be a shortage of providers to service this population. Many psychologists are deeply offended by this baseless and unnecessary distinction and are doubtful as to whether they will continue providing services under this contract. There should be a single fee structure for all psychologists providing services to ADF personnel. Firstly, there is no research evidence that psychologists holding these endorsements are more effective. Secondly, a psychologist holding an endorsement does not necessarily hold any further qualifications or training than other psychologists. When the registration system for psychologists moved from the state-based systems to being federally managed by AHPRA, many members of the Australian Psychological Society were automatically endorsed in areas of their choosing (without holding the now required masters/doctorate degrees). Therefore, some clinical/forensic/neuro psychologists hold the same level of training and qualifications as ‘generalist’ or ‘registered’ psychologists. In fact, a large portion (65%) of psychologists (without endorsement) hold postgraduate qualifications such as masters, PhDs or training in particular techniques such as EMDR (the current gold standard treatment for veteran trauma). The quality, skills and knowledge of a psychologist cannot be deemed by endorsement status alone. According to data from the Psychology Board of Australia (as at 31 March 2019), there are 35 583 registered psychologists in Australia with 10 073 of these holding endorsement as clinical, neuro or forensic psychologists. BUPA's fee structure is sending a negative message to over 25000 psychologists, their families, staff and clients. Many psychologists are also BUPA customers and will likely reassess their health cover options in light of this issue. Psychologists tried to address this directly with the former contract holder Garrison Health/Medibank to no avail. BUPA then adopted the contract as is and continues to devalue many very experienced psychologists. We need the BUPA CEO and Minister for Defence to review this fee structure immediately and ensure that ADF funds are being used appropriately (as there is no evidence that endorsed psychologists provide better service or outcomes, how can the ADF ethically spend public money on rebating these psychologists 45% more than their colleagues).
    641 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Australian Psychologists
  • Say NO to Academic Restructuring at Flinders University
    What is presently happening in universities, not just at Flinders University but elsewhere, will have – and is having – serious social impacts. Put simply: • Troubled by decades of inequitable Federal funding cuts, universities, like Flinders, are transforming into businesses; • This changes the way we think about public education: from a vehicle for public good (i.e. to be invested in jointly by the state and commonwealth for collective good, and accessible to the broader community), to a commodity (paid for by individuals for private benefit); • These same governments are increasing support for the banks, the wealthy, the military and big corporations, while university managers are diverting much of the funds they do have, to upper management salaries and marketing campaigns while starving administrative support and teaching in many parts of the university; • Together, this impacts education and teaching. For example, within this ‘business’ formulation, academic subjects are considered valuable to the extent that they hold exchange value on the market. The hard sciences, for instance, are typically more valued by university managers for their amenability to industry partnerships and patents; • Subjects less amenable to outside funding; i.e., the humanities, social sciences, education, social work, arts, racial and ethnic or other minority studies, are increasingly devalued and are most at risk because they question power; • The latter fields are those where social inequalities have historically been most vigorously addressed (i.e. poverty, racism, gender inequalities). These are areas where students learn to think critically and care deeply about social equity. They are also areas where women academics are most highly concentrated, and these areas are current targets of the greatest and most casualised workforce; • Within this formulation, learning areas with highest market value (the ones that make the most money) are thus increasingly tied to outside corporate interests and funding, which in other parts of the world where this model has been applied, have given rise to ethical issues concerning ethics of research; • Rather than develop critical, social-democratic thinkers with social and political consciousness, with the shift from ‘public education’ to ‘private investment’, universities are destined to develop future generations of workers who are technically trained, yet self-interested, and our societies will be impoverished as a consequence. Universities have never been perfect institutions, but those like Flinders have had a proud record of making social equity a core part of their rationale. Current moves in higher education are deepening existing social inequalities, they are creating a precarious workforce that hurts minority groups the most, and they are positioning students-as-consumers who, if trends overseas are to be observed, will soon be subject to steeper tuition costs, making education an impossibility for many future students. Save our public universities, save our societies.
    494 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Nadine Schoen
  • Stop Changing the Goal Posts! All Psychologists are Qualified
    Many long term practitioners of applied psychology were and are excluded from AoPE simply because they chose to not be members of the APS. The vast majority of these have 6 years of study and training in psychology; many of them have masters degrees and PhDs in psychology, and/or extensive professional development training in the application of psychology. A system that does not recognise the competence of many of its well trained and experienced practitioners is system we cannot support. Many psychologists (the vast majority of whom are not 'endorsed') view PBA endorsements as an insult to their training, experience and competence as it implies that they are in some way less capable than endorsed psychologists. As such, AoPE are simply damaging to most Australian psychologists. Any perception of differences in expertise based on endorsements are simply not based on any demonstrable facts. With AoPE, the PBA has created a system which facilitates this misperception. Many psychologists are facing serious restrictions to their practice, employment opportunities and financial disadvantage due to not being a member of the APS at the time that 'grandfathering' into Areas of Practice Endorsement occured.
    1,339 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Australian Psychologists
  • Sack Justin Milne - Chairman ABC Board
    The ABC is an important media asset belonging to the people of Australia. We want it to operate with no indirect or direct instructions from politicians or their proxies on how to perform it's role as independent unbiased reporter. It is not the role of the Chairman to make decisions on who gets hired or fired. The current chairman is not fit to continue in this role.
    14 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Joe Davids Picture
  • Save Byron
    It is important to protect the residents and community as well as approved accommodation operators, to protect their local residential amenity from the detrimental effects of the new Bill recently passed by the NSW State Government which will come in to effect in 2019. Residential houses and apartments are built for the specific purpose of domestic use and not built or rated for commercial use unless a second development application has been lodged to change the purpose of the building to commercial use. Short Term Holiday Letting is just that - it refers to the short term use of a property - meaning for a limited number of days - not every day. The every-day use of the building for tourism constitutes a commercially operated business. Residents who are neighbours of these STHL properties are being victimised and denied their residential amenity. Approved operators are also disadvantaged with a playing field that is far from level. Genuine operators have abided by the law and are now being under-mined by this Bill. Houses and homes are not meant to be party venues or pop-up hotels. Residential houses are meant to be used as permanent housing which is the intended purpose of residential zoning. While our zoning laws are not being upheld, our community continues to deteriorate. Affordable housing is already in very low supply in our area and virtually nonexistent. Homelessness is on the rise and the impact on our community is highly visible – with scout groups shutting down and whole streets being made into pop-up hotels rather than being used for residential housing. Our zoning laws are being ignored which were designed to protect the community. Many of our residents are citing no sleep in 2 years and some have shared their experiences of verbal and physical abuse by STHL guests. The owners of these properties think it is their right to run unregulated tourist accommodation from residential premises and have also been cited as causing abuse to neighbours. This Bill is creating hostility and is dividing the community. There are minimal choices available for permanent housing as rental prices are exorbitant, however there’s also an invisible homelessness occurring – these are the folks that do have rentals but are evicted for incidental tourism. For example, we have been contacted by a resident that is evicted from her rental for 4-5 months of the year because her landlord insists in profiting from a higher tariff during the music festival weekends and peak seasons such as Christmas and Easter. This particular resident is a professional who operates two businesses and has a 6 year old daughter - this is not only a housing issue but also a human rights issue and duty of care with children. In those times that this resident’s landlord evicts her for weekends or weeks at a time, she sleeps in her car with her child. This 6 year old falls asleep at school. This issue will continue to systematically and quickly rip our community apart. We fear that we are heading for ghettos in our quiet residential areas and this has recently led to increased burglaries with streets full of empty houses. Byron’s infrastructure and roads are also being eroded and without enough funding from Council to maintain these amenities, our infrastructure will fall further into disrepair. Enforcing these STHL to become compliant and paying commercial rates will give Council the ability to raise revenue from our tourists in a fairer way rather than a voluntary tourism tax. We want to offer an amazing experience to our visitors, have our residents engaged, and support a community that offers accommodation and a lifestyle for diverse economic backgrounds. Please hear us when we say that Byron Shire is heading for ruination if we are not granted exemption from this Bill. Sincerely Yours Byron Residents & Approved Operators
    1,182 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Byron Residents & Approved Businesses
  • Stop foreign ownership of the Albany wind farm
    - You have caused the loss of local employment effectively losing 28 years of experience on those very machines. - You have revoked a contract to a West Australian company who currently maintains the wind farm and given it to a multi-national company effectively causing more job loss and local money leaving the state. - Your government promised in the election that you would not sell power assets and now you have broken that promise.
    159 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Ben Fairhead Picture
  • Australian Psychological Society (APS) – We deserve transparency and advocacy from our peak body!
    As psychologists, our livelihoods and the welfare of our clients depends on the Australian public's access to affordable psychological services. Currently, our clients receive a rebate of $84.80, while clinical psychologists attract a rebate of $124.50 for providing the same 50-minute session. Many non-clinical psychologists can’t maintain their practices due to this lower rebate and due to financial pressure, have to pass on some out-of-pocket costs to their clients. There are 29 213 registered psychologists in Australia with only 8298 of these holding endorsement as clinical psychologists (28%) (Psychology Board of Australia, 31 March 2018). The APS is split into a number of colleges representing each endorsed area of practice. We are concerned as the submission by the APS College of Counselling Psychology, advocates to maintain the current unfair and unfounded two-tier rebate system with their own members placed on their higher tier alongside their clinical colleagues. This means the majority of Australians will still need to pay substantial gap fees to see their psychologists. Polls conducted in our Facebook group suggest that more non-clinical psychologists could fully bulk-bill their clients if their rebate was the same as their clinical colleagues. Of the 9 Director/Psychologist positions on the APS Board, 6 (66%) hold endorsement as clinical psychologists, while less than 30% of psychologists hold clinical endorsement. The representativeness of the APS Board has been rightfully questioned due to these figures. The Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) has recommended to the MBS review to ‘cash’ the majority of psychologists out of Medicare and therefore prevent our clients from receiving any Medicare rebate for our services. How could 8298 clinical psychologists (who geographically congregate around the capital cities) service the Australian population? To add further insult, we discover that the author of the ACPA submission recommending the removal of rebates for non-clinical psychologists and their clients (https://acpa.org.au/submission-to-medicare-review/) is granted a place on the Medicare review committee. With submissions like these being made to the MBS review, non-clinical psychologists need representation and advocacy from the APS as their peak body. ACPA have spread false information and written multiple submissions to government departments and Medicare, denigrating all non-clinical psychologists. Unfortunately, the APS has not spoken out or reprimanded those who have denigrated the reputations of around 70% of their membership base. Many clinical psychologists hold the same level of training and qualifications as ‘generalist’ or ‘registered’ psychologists. In fact, a large portion of ‘generalist‘ psychologists hold postgraduate qualifications such as masters, PhDs or specific training in particular techniques such as EMDR. It is reported by the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) that ‘more than half of those clinical psychologists currently endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia do not have qualifications in clinical psychology…’ (source: https://docplayer.net/7212127-Skilled-occupation-list-sol-2015-16.html). Psychologists cannot be considered better trained or skilled by virtue of holding the title ‘clinical psychologist’. The quality, skills and knowledge of a psychologist cannot be deemed by endorsement status alone. All registered psychologists can diagnose, assess and treat clients, regardless of whether they are clinically endorsed or not. We also have nine areas of endorsement in Australia (health, forensic, counselling, educational/developmental etc.), however only clinically endorsed psychologists' services receive the higher rebate. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that any type of psychologist is better or more effective than any other type of psychologist. A notable research project commissioned by the Australian Government (Pirkis et al, 2011) demonstrated clearly that psychologists treating mental illness across both tiers of Medicare Better Access produced equivalently strong treatment outcomes (as measured by the K-10 and DASS pre-post treatment) for mild, moderate and severe cases of mental illness. This research demonstrates clearly that there is no difference in treatment outcomes when comparing clinical psychologists treating under tier one of Medicare Better Access with the treatment outcomes of all other registered psychologists treating under tier two of Medicare Better Access (Pirkis et al, 2011). Pirkis, Ftanou, Williamson, Machlin, Spittal & Bassilios (2011). Australia's Better Access initiative: An evaluation. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45:726–739 Consumers of psychology services should be able to receive the same rebate to see whichever psychologist best meets their needs and geographical location.
    822 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Australian Psychologists
  • Save The Basement - Iconic Sydney Music Venue
    The Basement is a historic and iconic Sydney Music Venue. Over its 42 years, thousands of local and international acts have performed at The Basement to generations of Australian Music Lovers. The Basement currently supports performances by many Sydney Musicians and touring international acts, it is an intimate inner city venue near Circular Quay, with fantastic sound and stage, great meals and wonderful staff. Many of Sydney's independent music venues are currently under pressure from, or have already been closed by, over zealous licensing police, council rangers and impossible fines. The once thriving Sydney live music scene has been crushed by lockout laws placing of residential developments too close to existing entertainment venues. Being one of the jewels in the crown of indie venues in Sydney, the Basement should remain open under fair terms. Please petition the AMP Chairman, Catherine Brenner to save the Basement rather than bringing on its closure. PLEASE SHARE THIS PETITION WITH AS MANY FRIENDS AS POSSIBLE !!!
    3,849 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Clive Lochner Picture
  • EGP (Equal Gender pay)
    There are several reasons why there should be no pay gap: > There is no proof that being a mother, makes a woman less productive on the job. > It is a basic human right to be treated fairly! > Equal Work, Unequal Pay... NOT FAIR!!! > Women deserves equal pay as they work as hard as men.
    126 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Dhvani, Vaidehi, Ollie ...
  • Allow disabled job seekers to contribute through volunteer work
    Having a disability doesn't have to stop me from contributing to society. I want the freedom to contribute according to the skills I DO have, instead of being required to look for work in a labour market that constantly focuses on the skills I lack. I want to do something useful with my life, rather than bashing my head against a brick wall. The success of this petition might even help to break the brick wall down!
    222 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Jane Scott Picture
  • TAFE TOO GOOD TO LOSE IN SA
    State Government policies are destroying TAFE in SA. The short-sighted policy of making public Vocational Education and Training (VET) funding fully contestable means nothing more than taxpayers money going into the pockets of sometimes unscrupulous profit driven private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), with disastrous effects for students, employers and our economy. All South Australians own our public TAFE system. Already, over $70 million of your money is going to private for-profit RTOs while TAFE SA campuses and courses are closing, denying students access to the high quality vocational education they need for the jobs of the future. Fully contestable funding is nothing more than the ideologically driven privatisation of VET and a race to the bottom. Federally, Bill Shorten's Labor Party is backing TAFE by guaranteeing government funding, recognising the need to reverse the damage being done. It's time for South Australian politicians to do the same!
    490 of 500 Signatures
    Created by TAFE TOO GOOD TOO LOSE IN SA
  • The Australian Parliament House should be alcohol free
    The Parliament is a workplace, arguably, the most important one in the country. Community standards, as often stated in the Parliament, do not accept alcohol and drugs in the workplace. It is not in the interest of the health of the Parliamentarians and their staff, nor is it conducive to good decision making and responsible behaviour. The Parliament should be exemplary in this regard. This is not a political issue and should be treated in a bipartisan manner.
    44 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Julian Watt