• 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.
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    Created by Australian Psychologists
  • Environmentally responsible toys
    Our plastics waste must stop, or at least slow down! There seems to be some gaps in the cycle 'reduce, reuse, recycle' particularly in the eyes of the public. Why bother recycling our plastics if we don't know what the end result is? Where does it go, what does it turn into? This helps close that gap. It's very tangible and visual answer to those questions, plus it engages children in the conversation about plastics waste reduction. If the toys can be made in Australia all the better. It's a win, win, win.
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    Created by Sarah Pearsall Picture
  • Plastic Bags for the environment
    We are all bound and connected to our planet and our community. Unless we all look after what we have, our children will inherit a home destroyed by the short sighted actions of those who came before them. We are all custodians of this beautiful planet, and their is no time like the present to work towards preserving our beautiful countryside and environment. The overall aim is to make plastic bags and packaging a thing of the past. By supporting this initiative we hope to promote a more greener attitude within each community focused on preserving our home for future generations.
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    Created by Nikos Petropouleas Picture
  • AIDS Council of WA needs to update its name
    The WA AIDS Council does encourage positive people to embrace this new reality, that is living with HIV today. Keeping a name and branding which invokes the Grim Reaper which disempowered Positive People as Suffering AIDS Victim. Having the word AIDS in the name of the primary health provider in W.A for positive people is allowing the old stigmatization and discrimination that is associated with AIDS to continue to reinforce tired old stereotypes of who Positive people really are. The term AIDS has long been known to be a barrier for people to seek help and services.
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    Created by Buckley Neil Picture
  • Save Jesmond Bush
    Have you been to George McGregor Park? It’s a verdant refuge for native species nestled amongst the suburbs in Jesmond. The edges of the bush have been slowly encroached upon by suburban development for decades, and what remains is some of Newcastle’s last remaining habitat for impressive and unusual species like the Powerful Owl and the Squirrel Glider, the Black-eyed Susan and Hakea bakerii, all rare and protected. The Jesmond to Rankin Park bypass will be constructed right down the middle of this native habitat by Roads and Maritime Services. The design was recently updated by RMS to better accommodate connectivity for cyclists. What about connectivity for the animals living in Jesmond bush? The current design sees a giant wall of dirt blocking the path and free movement of the fauna in Jesmond bush, impacting their ability to breed, feed and ultimately survive. There are alternatives to the current design that would improve the outlook for wildlife, such as the use of pylons which will in the long run leave less of a clearing footprint and better accommodate the animals inhabiting this beautiful patch of native bush. We the undersigned call on Roads and Maritime Services to improve the design of the Jesmond to Rankin Park bypass to maximise habitat connectivity and ensure local wildlife populations continue to thrive . Sign the petition and let Sonia Hornery, Member for Wallsend know that we value the species living in George McGregor Park and the long-term preservation of local habitat.
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    Created by Hunter Community Environment Centre Picture
  • Ban NSW buses with automatic access ramps
    The access ramps for these buses never work and are either not serviced or drivers are not trained on how to use them. As a person in a wheelchair that relies on buses for transport, I have often had to wait hours often out in the cold for the next bus in the timetable (sometimes multiple buses) because the ramp doesn’t work.
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    Created by Oliver Morton-Evans Picture
  • Save Sydney's Luna Park
    Luna Park is a battle fought and won by the people, almost fifty years ago. The owners of Luna Park have worked hard to make this a viable operation, a venue used for a mixture of events and its bread and butter fun park rides. I grew up with this venue, where a kid from not only, the western suburbs, but visitors from around the world could enjoy our harbour from these rides. The greed of this government and the clandestine nature of its operations makes me think there is a hidden agenda. One which would no doubt include a "sell-off". STOP IT
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    Created by Richard O'Neill
  • Get McDonalds to adopt an environmentally conscious policy on packaging
    Your CSR report is 6 years old and you have no available policy on packaging: https://mcdonalds.com.au/learn/responsibility/maccas-and-the-environment Here are some important links for you to see how the industry is evolving. We ask that you upskill your self, your staff and management so that you can become leaders in this field. Food handling & packaging (byo containers ok?) https://www.foodsafety.com.au/laws-requirements/food-sectors/retail Environmentally friendly food packaging http://aipack.com.au/education/master-of-food-and-packaging-innovation/ Now, before you tell me that the packaging is important because it's a branding opportunity, let me remind you that you are one of the most globally recognised brands in the world. Please send out a survey and ask your customers (without leading the question) if they would like to see recycling bins in your stores. https://planetark.org would also love to help you through the details of the transition to a more environmentally friendly packaging process. On behalf of all these people who have signed this petition, and the millions of people in Australia who regularly consume this product, we urge you to look closely and be a leader for your company's future, and our planets'. PLEASE ASSIGN A SENIOR LEADER TO DEVELOPING THIS POLICY & INCENTIVISE THEIR PROGRESS WITH A REWARD.
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    Created by Joeline Hackman Picture
  • The Bradfield water redirection Scheme
    Scheme would drought proof most of western QLD & North west NSW. Below are links to all the information I could find about The Bradfield Scheme, a proposed Australian water diversion scheme, To make Western QLD and Northern West NSW Drought free for ever. https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/3295673/beat-the-drought-build-bradfield/ http://www.fnq.cc/bradfield_scheme_a.html
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  • Protect Families and Children From Gun Violence - Let's give women and children a say!
    Last week two teenagers, Jennifer and Jack Edwards, were shot dead by their father, John Edwards, a 68-year-old Financial Planner. Mr Edwards was able to join St Mary's Indoor Shooting Centre, he then obtained a firearms licence and permit before legally buying two high-powered firearms, which he used to shoot his children. Mr Edwards was estranged from his wife Olga Edwards and custody proceedings had commenced in the Family Court. As the law currently stands, when a person applies for a firearm licence or permit to acquire additional firearms, the spouse of the applicant does not need to be notified or consulted, even when a family law matter has commenced in the courts and there has been previous history of threats and fear. If the law had required police to notify and consult with Olga Edwards before approving Mr Edwards' application for a firearm, then his firearm application could have been denied. Samantha Lee, Director of GCA states, “Current gun laws fail to adequately protect women and children from gun violence because the law requires an AVO to be in place or a charge for a criminal offence before a firearm may be revoked or suspended. By then, it may be too late to save a life.” “What GCA wants to see happen is a more pro-active approach which gives woman and spouses a voice in the gun licence continuation, application or acquisitions process.” Gun Control Australia (GCA) is calling for the implementation of robust new family law firearm safety checks to better protect families from gun violence. The call comes after the recent horrific shooting of two teenagers in West Pennant Hills by their father who legally obtained several firearms including high-powered handguns. Under the current law, police do not have to notify a spouse when their partner or ex-partner applies for a gun licence or a permit to obtain additional firearms. GCA is calling on all State and Territory Attorney General's to support our proposal for family law firearm safety checks.The checks would be compulsory and required to be undertaken once a proceeding has been lodged in the Family Court. The checks would include: (1) Firearm Licence Review, and (2) Spousal notification for all new applications for a firearm licence and permits to acquire a firearm application Firearm Licence Review The Firearm Licence Review (FLR) would require police to check if any party to the family court proceedings has a gun licence and if so, if there is any concern for the safety for the firearm licence holder, their immediate family or the public. The police would have the power to suspend or revoke a licence or not issue a permit. Spousal notification Spousal notification would require police to notify the spouse/ partner who is a party to family law custody proceedings when the other party has a gun licence or has made an application for a firearm licence or an application to obtain a permit to acquire a licence. The notification would then allow the spouse/partner to object to the continuation of the licence or the application on the grounds of concerns for personal safety to himself, herself or others. Full Scale Review We also call for the commonwealth and state parliaments of Australia to initiate a full-scale review of our nation's gun laws, which have been steadily weakened after decades of pressure by an NRA style gun lobby here in Australia. We need your support to change our gun laws to better protect families from gun violence. This petition is endorsed by Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW Inc. Samantha Lee Director Gun Control Australia https://www.guncontrolaustralia.org/
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  • Make big developers compensate small business during construction
    Big developers should be responsible for the community they are moving into and should be made to compensate for the loss of business they cause.
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    Created by Chelsea Kate Picture
  • Please bring the 'Living Smart' Course to the Barossa!
    The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board is funding a number of courses to be delivered in partnership with councils and other organisations in 2018. This seven week course is a unique journey that brings people together to learn from and support each other, helping to create networks of like-minded locals. Course topics include: living simply, waste, water, gardening for biodiversity, gardening for food, energy, healthy you, healthy home, transport and community. A skilled facilitator adapts the content of each topic, based on the needs of each group and the expertise within the group. By the end of the course, participants are energised, inspired and ready for the next step, whether that’s small changes in their own home or embarking on a community project.
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    Created by Michelle Peterson