• Employ More Staff in Centrelink to Reduce Wait Times
    The KPI for a claim for any type of Pension is 6 weeks. Because of lack of staff and a huge back-log this has now blown out to as much as 12 weeks and sometimes longer. This is even before you know if your claim will be accepted or not. Some people have the resources to cover this long wait, but many don't, which is why they are claiming in the first place. It is better for a person to be cared for in their own home, by a loved one rather than be a burden in either the hospital or aged care system. Adding financial stress to a Carers burden can definitely lead to a depressed mental outlook. Please sign the petition now asking the Federal Minister to Increase Staff in Centrelink so they can address all wait time issues.
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    Created by Maryanne Watts
  • Save Cheltenham Place - HIV is still here
    Cheltenham Place is a vital service for South Australia's HIV-positive population. It provides many specialist supports and respite accommodation to people living with HIV and their carers. It is a safe place for them, away from stigma and discrimination; set up to meet –psychosocial and medical needs. The clients of Cheltenham Place have high and complex needs. Most have diagnosed mental health issues. Some have drug and alcohol challenges, physical disabilities and, others have experienced homelessness. In 17/18, the service worked with nearly 100 people, including those recently diagnosed with HIV, and facilitated 10 early hospital discharges and 37 hospital avoidances. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research shows that conservatively calculated, that has saved the health budget more than $800,000, saving the Government purse far more than its modest $411,000 operational sting each year. Despite all of this, Minister Wade has announced he will discontinue funding for Cheltenham Place from 1 January 2019, forcing it's closure. HIV is still here. Each year in South Australia we have seen an average of 59 new HIV diagnoses. We know that not all people with HIV are aware they have the virus, and this is why sustained investment in testing and treatment is so important. Our State Government has now removed the only specialist HIV respite and outreach support service in South Australia while simultaneously reducing funding for STI and BBV testing and education programs.
    637 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Chair SARAA
  • 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
    1,172 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Byron Residents & Approved Businesses
  • End Nauru Detention
    There are children and families in detention on Nauru by order of the Australian government. Some have been in captivity for years, and some children were even born on the island. Detention is a fancy word for prison. Except there was no court, no trial, no judge, no jury. It is not a Liberal or Labor issue. Both parties have been responsible for this. The world’s humanitarian organisations have condemned Australia’s action and yet it continues. These people have escaped from all kinds of appalling situations. Don’t be misled by claims that freeing these people will lead to more boat arrivals. That is a separate issue which our border controllers need to manage without making political pawns of the people seriously suffering on Nauru. Children are being psychologically and physically harmed.
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    Created by Phillip Sandercock
  • Ban toxic weed killers from our parks, schools and green spaces
    Weed killers do not just kill weeds, they contaminate our air, soil and water, slowly killing us and our environment. We need to start embracing safer and more sustainable methods, and set new standards to ensure a livable planet for future generations.
    1,871 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Kristy Arkadieff
  • Invest in Community, not a $9 million dollar police station ✊
    It is important that we as a community support our youth to feel respected and valued by investing in youth and community driven Justice Reinvestment opportunities such as access to youth accommodation for our young people sleeping rough, support for young peoole struggling with drug, alcohol, gambling and gaming addictions, exploitation and sexual abuse, support for young people identifying within the LGBTIQA community and basic human rights such as access to resources, healthy affordable food, safe affordable accommodation, equitable access to education and employment without discrimination.
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    Created by Iesha Nixon
  • Protect S.E. NSW kangaroos
    Kangaroo populations will be negatively impacted. Even more cruelty will be inflicted on kangaroos than now because multiple shooters both professional and amateurs can shoot; Shot kangaroos meat can be used for non-commercial purposes; Shooting can take place statewide extending out past the current harvest zones; All sizes from young to adult can be shot. The government says only 13% of the quota is being currently used and the reason for this is because the commercial shooters must abide by size limits in order to keep a stable population of breeding stock. With these changes all of these precautions have been removed and all agencies, farmers, and industries involved will simply decimate the population of kangaroos to point of extinction, locally, regionally and in the state targeted areas being allowed. Contrary to what farmers always say, their numbers are not 'exploding' - how can they when they only give birth to one joey a year? Their chances of surviving are threatened not only by shooters but also loss of habitat, drought, fire, car collision, dog and other predatorial attacks, fence hanging and disease. A small mob of kangaroos is seen as a 'plague' by these farmers. Instead of caving into farmers all the time the government should also listen to what Australian residents want. Kangaroos are becoming locally extinct in areas where they used to be abundant. Eventually there will be none left and it will be too late to act. Please sign this petition and share.
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    Created by Menkit Prince Picture
  • 'Enough is Enough'….All consumers and psychologists in Australia deserve equal access to Medicare!
    The APS submission (https://www.psychology.org.au/About-Us/What-we-do/advocacy/Submissions/Professional-Practice/2018/APS-Submission-to-the-MBS-Review-Better-Access?) recommends that over two thirds of registered psychologists (many of whom hold higher degrees, specialised training and significant experience in their field) but have not applied for “endorsement” would only be able to provide services to the estimate 10% of clients presenting with mild to moderate disorders. The complicated model states that psychologists may be given an opportunity to “demonstrate equivalent competence” to be able to treat what is, for many, their existing client base. Recognition would almost certainly come at a significant cost. The APS has yet to explain just how this recognition would occur, leaving experienced practitioners at a loss as to how they can protect their livelihood and deliver crucial services to clients. All registered psychologists are currently permitted to practice across all areas of psychology and mental health and can diagnose, assess and treat clients, regardless of whether they are endorsed or not. Ethical guidelines require psychologists to only provide services within their limits of personal competence. Endorsed psychologists primarily operate in urban areas, while the majority of psychologists operating in rural areas are non-endorsed. Data from the Psychology Board of Australia’s ‘Area of practice endorsement data tables: January 2014’, shows that only 23 endorsed psychologists work in remote communities across Australia; 212 in outer regional; while 7 969 work in metropolitan/capital cities. Our rural areas have some of the highest rates of suicide in Australia. If accepted, the APS recommendations will leave rural and regional Australians without access to vital mental health care services. The consequences to Australians in desperate need of mental health care will be disastrous. If accepted, the APS model will result in higher session fees, with clients unable to claim any Medicare rebate unless their preferred practitioner is “endorsed”. Market forces would likely push up out-of-pocket fees to see endorsed psychologists and waiting lists would blow out. By losing a major funding stream, many non-endorsed psychologists would be forced to close their practices, leaving vulnerable clients without access to vital and affordable health services. Many endorsed psychologists do not bulk bill, meaning only those in higher socioeconomic groups would be able to afford treatment for the most debilitating of conditions. There is no evidence to support that better health outcomes are achieved by “endorsed” psychologists. In fact, a significant amount of “endorsed” psychologists achieved this status through historical paid membership to special interest “Colleges”, and not through demonstrated experience or completing a masters/doctorate degree. Some psychologists were granted up to six endorsements via this process. The Australian Clinical Psychology Association stated 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://industry.gov.au/Office-of-the-Chief-Economist/SkilledOccupationList/Documents/2015Submissions/ACPA.pdf). Therefore, many endorsed psychologists hold the same level of training and qualifications as non-endorsed psychologists. The APS position is a crushing blow to over two thirds of registered psychologists, many of whom will be unable to continue treating the majority of their clients if the proposal is accepted by the Government. It is clear the APS is not acting in the best interests of its members (who currently pay $640 for annual membership) or their clients, by advocating that the majority of psychologists lose access to the MBS. In fact, if the APS proposal is accepted, 66% of the psychologist board members who are “endorsed”, may personally benefit with increased client referrals, while 64% of registered psychologists will have very limited access to Medicare referrals. Questions must be asked about the ability of the APS Board to represent all psychologists equally, and whether the board members are at risk of breaching their fiduciary duties to the APS with a proposal which effectively destroys the livelihoods of the majority of registered practitioners, for the benefit of a few, including themselves. For over ten years now, clinical psychologist’s services have attracted a $39 higher rebate than non-clinical psychologists. Despite this higher rebate, fewer clinical psychologists fully bulk-bill their clients. Based on the current Medicare arrangements, the proposed changes will represent a significant increase to Medicare, as the cost of providing the same services already being provided by registered psychologists would increase by 47%. 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, 2011a). Reference: Pirkis, Ftanou, Williamson, Machlin, Spittal & Bassilios (2011a). Australia's Better Access initiative: An evaluation. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 45:726–739
    5,693 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Australian Psychologists
  • Save Mount Panorama
    It's important that we let the council know we care about Mt Panorama, the way it is used matters to the people of Bathurst and all the thousands of race goers and visitors that come here every year. It belongs to all people, not just one sporting club, which could easily be located somewhere else.
    210 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Susan Douglas
  • Australian Women's Day: A day that changes the game
    Respect for women is pivotal to keeping us safe. A whole new conversation is needed in Australian about how valuable its women are. Men, you have a choice; (i) you can choose to celebrate women; (ii) you can abuse, threaten, humiliate, isolate, and murder us; or (iii) you can do what men have done for centuries; witness crimes against women and say nothing, do nothing, and even hide the evidence. We recognise that not all men beat the women in their lives. We recognise that some men speak up for women who are being beaten up. We also know that most men stand by and do nothing. Significant sporting events accelerate, ignite, and contribute to an increase (of up to 40%) in the level of domestic violence in this country. This is why Australian Women's Day is occurring on the date that it is. It's being created as a circuit breaker during a time of footie fever and spring racing. We don't want to stop the conversation about, or celebration of sport, we want to expand it to include women's stories and women's experiences. One of those experiences is that women are being beaten up while men are playing sport. It's imperative that this be acknowledged and addressed. Violent relationships are bred in an environment that allows for women to be disrespected. Violent relationships are perpetuated by the silence of good people turning a blind eye and choosing to do nothing. Australian Women's Day is a day for speaking up, for seeing a bigger picture; a picture that includes both men and women. For acknowledging that women's experiences and contributions matter, and for making us more prominent in the national psyche. Violent relationships need pattern interrupters. A national day that signals to the men of Australia that women matter is that pattern interrupter. This is the game changer we've been waiting for as a nation. If you believe women deserve to be safe from harm during significant sporting events in the national calendar, please sign this petition. If you believe women deserve a national day to celebrate our achievements and our contribution to Australian society, please support our Gofundme campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/australianwomensday
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    Created by Samantha Nolan-Smith Picture
  • 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.
    158 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.
    772 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Australian Psychologists