• BANYULE COUNCIL SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE
    As at 5th January 2024, at least 30,676 people have been killed and 58,960 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since 7th October 2023 (Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, 05/01/23). Amnesty International has called the situation in Palestine ‘apartheid’, while organisations such as Human Rights Watch have called it ‘collective punishment’ and an ’open air prison’. Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years old, are detained and held without charges, in some cases for years. Save the Children has reported that they are the only children in the world who are systematically prosecuted in military courts and that the treatment they receive is unlike that of Israeli children for similar crimes. With 86 percent of children beaten in Israeli detention, 69 percent are strip-searched and 42 percent are subject to injuries during their arrests. In 2015, Human Rights Watch found that Israeli military courts in the West Bank denied bail to Palestinian children in 72 percent of cases, while civil courts denied bail to Israealis in 17.9 percent of cases. Over the past couple months several local councils have passed motions in support of Palestinians, including: Hume, Merri-bek, Darebin, Yarra, Maribyrnong, Wyndham and Dandenong. While this may be happening thousands of miles away, many local Banyule community members are deeply affected by this conflict, particularly those who share religious, cultural, and familial ties to those in Palestine. With around 2.4 % of the Banyule constituency identifying as Muslim with 7% in Heidelberg Heights and 14.4% in Heidelberg West and Bellfield (ABS, Census of population and housing, 2016 and 2021) and a key priority of the council being ‘health and wellbeing’, we believe it is critical the council respond to the concerns of the community by showing solidarity with Palestine. Any motion passed by Banyule City Council must contain these essential elements: * A call for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire; * A call for withdrawal of Israel from occupied Palestinian lands; * An acknowledgement and mourning of the horrific loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives, and a condemnation of all attacks targeting civilians, particularly in hospitals, schools and places of worship, safe spaces that are protected under the International humanitarian law (IHL); * An acknowledgement that the conflict did not begin on October 7th, but with the Israeli occupation of Palestine; * A call to the immediate release of all Palestinian children from Israeli prisons. * An acknowledgement that many global organisations and institutions have documented evidence of war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians; * Call upon the Australian Government to prosecute Australians fighting with the IDF in Gaza and the West Bank. * A commitment to cancelling contracts with companies that support Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine or profit from it (especially companies supplying equipment to the Israeli defence forces). * Call upon the Australian Government to condemn Israeli war crimes, call for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire, and end all military, economic, political and diplomatic ties to Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law. This includes dismantling the institutionalised system of Apartheid as described by UN agencies, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem and Amnesty International. * An expression of solidarity with Banyule residents with family and friends in this region; * A commitment to fly the Palestinian flag at Heidelberg Town Hall and the Greensborough offices; * Deplore and actively stand against all forms of racism, including Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism and antisemitism within our local multicultural and multi-faith community.
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    Created by Banyule Palestine Action Group
  • Pump Track and jumps for South Durras - Eurobodalla Shire
    To help engage the community in a project that will foster an excellent recreational and meeting place for Eurobodalla Residents and visitors alike. The South Durras Skate Park/Basketball court site already acts as a critical community meeting place, the addition of a Pump Track/MTB jumps will broaden the public use of this community space. Embracing Fitness and Fun: Pump tracks provide a fun and accessible way for community members of all ages to engage in physical activity. The inclusion of a Pump Track and MTB jumps at the currently disused public space (area adjacent to the soccer field) and align with other similar projects throughout the Eurobodalla. This is only a proposal at this stage to gauge community interest and support. The proposed location will require extensive planning with residents and council.
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    Created by Huon Norris
  • Championing positive change or business as usual?
    On October 26th 2023, we the First Nations Advisory Group to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and a collective of supporters and allies, took a united stand in our dismissal of the outwardly racist ideology expressed by Queensland Police Union (QPU) President, in the Courier Mail on Wednesday 25th October 2023. On November 13 2023, we again collectively called on the Minister for Queensland Police and the Commissioner of Police to take action as a demonstration that racist and harmful behaviour would not be accepted as business as usual. Not only have our calls for action been met with silence, just over one month later on the 30th November 2023, the President of the QPU has been announced as a member of the Independent Ministerial Advisory Council (IMAC) to give victims a voice. The comments made by the QPU President remain negligent and outwardly harmful to the wellbeing and interests of our First Nations peoples and communities, including victims. It is beyond belief that the same individual who so recently made overtly racist and fearmongering public commentary about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples could be identified as an appropriate member of this Council. The President of the QPU has also repeatedly refused to acknowledge widespread problems in police responses to domestic and family violence in Queensland. This is despite numerous studies and reports to the contrary, including the 2022 “Call for Change” report from the Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Reponses to domestic and family violence that found “ample evidence that there are cultural issues within the Queensland Police Service which inhibit the policing of domestic and family violence.” The appointment of QPU President to the Victims Advisory Council represents a gross disservice to the “voice” of victims, and to the countless people and organisations working to change this in Queensland. The people most likely to be victims in Queensland are women, children and young people, too often Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and young people. These people have been let down by this decision. Queensland has been let down by this decision. We wish to express our deep disappointment at the Queensland Government’s implicit endorsement of the President of the QPU by giving him a position of influence over the very important and critical work of the council in its consideration of the needs of victims and vulnerable people, such as children, young people, women and First Nations peoples. We invite the Premier and Attorney General to meet with a representative body of this group to further discuss our concerns and to seek a positive resolution to the ongoing harm that is being felt. In good faith we await your response.
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    Created by First Nations Advisory Group, Supporters and Allies Picture
  • Overhaul Centrelink
    Everyone needs to support this petition for a more humane welfare system because anyone can lose their current financial status, need support due to illness or accident and everyone hopefully reaches retirement and through unforeseen circumstances requires a government funded pension. How we treat the less fortunate and diadvantage shows the character of our civilisation and should be a national trait Australia is proud to demonstrate. The slogan "a fair go for all" once characterised Aussies' beliefs, this is not he case anymore. Anyone who visits the website ' The Centrelink is broken' will see many examples of harrowing stories of people engaged with a not only uncaring response but abusive and threatening manner of communication. People are unable to contact Centrelink on the telephone when they cannot deal with the issue online through mygov or the Centrelink app. They either wait hours on the telephone or are cut off continuously before being answered and have to go through a process of demeaning verification of identity. For anyone with a disability,aged, English as a second language, regional and remote background or first nations people, or people unaware of their rights, dealing with Centrelink is traumatic. As welfare recipients, who through no fault of their own ( often working hard all their lives or being stripped of earning a decent income) find themselves dependent on benefits that don't cover basic cost of living are simply asking for respect and professional support in an uncondescending manner. I have found the staff at my local Centrelink office very helpful however to cancel an appointment made in case I was unable to use technology on line I had to revisit the centre to do this because I could not contact Centrelink. I was also threatened with having my and my partner's pension suspended if I didn't attend this meeting. For someone out of town or without transport this simple process becomes a nightmare. I cannot call my local Centrelink office to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Welfare recipients are a minority so there are no political point scoring for an overhaul of Centrelink. I need the people to come together and support this proposition because you don't know if this experience could be one you will encounter in the future. For those looking towards retirement on a government supported benefit you will be treated as an undeserving burden on the rest of society who should give up their rights and any savings or property ownership to receive welfare benefit no longer considered or called aged pension.
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    Created by Isobel BARKER
  • Time for North Coast Girls NPL teams
    It has been a magnificent year for female football in Australia. But on the North Coast of NSW girls still don't have their own representative teams. There are girls teams at a local level, at a state level and at a national level - but a BIG gap at the regional level. If girls want to advance they need to qualify for the boys representative teams. THIS is the time to give girls soccer on the North Coast the exposure and equality it needs. The Australian public have shown their support for female soccer in Australia - now it's time for the regional football body to get on board and show girls that they have as much right as the boys to represent their region. There will never be a better time to give girls the chance to represent their region with their own teams. As the dad of three soccer-loving girls I believe it's time for them to know that they are worthy of their own teams. Please sign thius petition to North Coast football and SHARE as widely as you can.
    602 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Kev Doye
  • Let the Permanent Residents Stay in Kirra Tourist Park
    Kirra Tourist Park has permanent homes that have been owned and lived in by pensioners for decades. These people purchased their homes with the understanding their leases would be renewed. They can not afford to relocate or buy new homes with the small payout the council might give them, and a lot of them have no other option for housing, as there is no affordable housing on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is in a housing crisis and these permanent homes in the caravan park are a great option to keep pensioners homed. Instead, the council is choosing to make the housing situation worse, all for some extra holiday campsites that aren't needed. The park has an abundance of space for permanent residents and holidaymakers. It makes no sense to oust people from a sustainable and affordable living situation to make more holiday campsites. While The Gold Coast is seeing more families become homeless the Gold Coast City Council is demolishing 13 liveable family-sized homes in the park over the next few weeks. In 5 years, all of the permanent residents will be either evicted with no compensation, or if they are compensated the buyout figure will be so low that it will not even come close to buying them another home in the community they love, or anywhere for that matter. All of this is causing significant mental and emotional stress on the residents. The residents live with this date and situation looming over their heads, yet they keep their homes and their gardens immaculate, as they always have, because this is their home, that they love and they do not want to leave. Please help us by signing and sharing this petition so we can show the Gold Coast City Council that keeping pensioners in their community and affordable housing is more important than extra camping sites for holidaymakers.
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    Created by Rae Mitchell
  • Save Parsley Bay - *SEE NEW PETITION LINK BELOW*
    *NEW PETITION LINK* - https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/la/Pages/ePetition-details.aspx?q=vJ6XNj1QnevTFY9U2SI2bA Parsley Bay is a natural phenomena (backed by experts). There is an anomalously abundant amount of marine, animal, and plant life within this Littoral Rainforest. With a minimum of 3 years of construction (and likely complications), this PARTIALLY underground project will uproot partial (yet significant) amounts of the rainforest area of the Reserve. This includes the removal of trees, significant drilling and digging, and highly likely contamination of the soil, creek and harbour. Parsley Bay reserve is home to a Plethora of endangered Flora, Fauna and Marine Life. This project poses a massive danger to these vulnerable species, and the risk of extinction cannot be ignored! The White Seahorse and the Powerful Owl are just two of many beautiful, at-risk species who call Parsley Bay home. We can't jeopardise their existence or the significant role that they play in our ecosystem! Regardless of where you live, you can help us to save the natural inhabitants of this little pocket of paradise. Don’t let Sydney Water take advantage of the people, let’s take action to save our environment! @saveparsleybay - on all platforms
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    Created by Max Miller
  • Save The Campaspe River Macedon Ranges
    Please show your concern and support this petition as our Campaspe River is regularly been noted as unsafe for recreational activities and wildlife. How is it considered acceptable to use our waterways as drains. EPA is right now considering an amendment to Coliban Water licence to allow them to continue to pollute The Campase.
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    Created by Karan Hayman
  • THRIVE ON THE FLOOD PLAIN - SAVE OUR HOMES
    Elderly, single parents families, people living with disabilities or chronic illness are sleeping cold in tents and caravans or in temporary accommodation. Help us help them.
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    Created by Lyndall Murray
  • SAVE BUNGAWALBYN FROM FUTURE FLOODS - NORTHERN RIVERS
    We've been living on the flood plain for generations, almost 200 years... we are the tea tree capital, the food bowl and the red cedar wood suppliers from the 1800s. Our wood built your homes and buildings it floated down the Richmond River. Now we need your help to survive living on the flood plain.
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    Created by Lyndall Murray
  • Protect our old growth trees at La Trobe University
    Honeywell are planning to remove an old growth River Red Gum that is located out the front of the AgriBio Building despite the initial arborist report recommending to manage the tree using "weight reduction pruning, canopy retrenchment pruning and re-cabling of limbs". This particular individual tree is classified as remnant vegetation and is thought to be up to 400 years old (pre-European). It is a critical habitat tree with many hollows and we know that many species are currently inhabiting this tree, including sugar gliders, lorikeets, possums, and more. (For context: it takes about 100 years for a hollow to form!) Many species are known to nest, roost and forage in rare old trees around La Trobe University, most noteworthy are Swift Parrots (EPBC Act-listed as Critically Endangered), and Gang Gang cockatoos (EPBC Act-listed as Endangered). See here for some of the species we found living in and around this old River Red Gum outside the front of AgriBio: https://latrobeuni-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/19631648_students_ltu_edu_au/EpsaxXpUqLtGr45F7Sko0GcBYonMjJFuaIKFmMQZSJxeMw?e=wvQPeJ We as a community should be concerned because the loss of ancient trees is a loss to an irreplaceable part of our natural and cultural heritage. The notion that this giant tree, imposing in presence, impressive in stature, and high in habitat value, may be replaced by planting a juvenile tree is nothing short of incomprehensible. Not in several lifetimes at least, given it has survived 3 centuries! Our previous petition gained 700 signatures. Signed by concerned members of the public, students and staff of La Trobe University. This number continues to increase every day. Please help us protect our urban remnant vegetation and sign this petition! ---------- Here are some of the comments made by people as to why they signed this petition, it is truly moving and is a very concerning issue for people: Indigenous Staff member – “As a First Nations women, I believe we should have further information as to why the tree is being cut down. It is part of Wurundjeri Country.” LTU Student - “This tree is irreplaceable habitat, and La Trobe cannot pretend to be committed to environmental preservation and conservation if this is allowed to occur. Find another solution. We CANNOT keep destroying habitat because it is inconvenient.” LTU Staff - “La Trobe University campus is unique in its ecological habitat and sense of place. Significant old trees like this make La Trobe. There are multiple alternatives to removal of this tree and a second opinion by an arborist is necessary. La Trobe urgently needs to review it's vegetation protection approach if such a removal is deemed possible without thorough review and staff and student consultation. Similarly, the proposed removal of significant old trees and understory from the proposed solar farm should be critically considered. You can not get this kind of contribution to the university back by planting new small trees.” LTU Alumni - “This tree pre-dates European colonisation of the site, and its retention, protection from built encroachments, and ongoing ecological management, together with other adjacent pockets of native vegetation, around AgriBio & the R&D Park, were strict Planning Permit requirements for LTU, in perpetuity, imposed as essential minimum obligations, by DEECA's regional Biodiversity Management division. LTU needs to retain this tree, and all other adjacent pockets of native vegetation, around AgriBio & the R&D Park, and exclude built encroachments & people access & risks, and manage all these ecological assets, to the highest best-practice, as per the National standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia. Anything short of fulfilling these obligations destroys the community social licence on which La Trobe stands and trades!” Community member - “I support this petition, the old river Red Gum Tree shouldn’t be removed. I support this, because the removal of the tree can lead to significant negative impacts on the local environment and ecosystem. Such as: loss of habitat, reduced biodiversity, soul erosion, and increased carbon emissions. Additionally, this Red Gum tree holds cultural and aesthetic value, providing a sense of history and continuity. Therefore, removing the tree can have negative impacts on the local community. Thanks to the Botany and Plant Ecology Society for raising awareness and support for the preservation of the old river Red Gum Tree, you are helping to protect the local ecosystem and heritage.” --------
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    Created by Iris Hickman Picture
  • Bega Valley Ratepayers Petition against IPART approving the BVSC a 43% Special Rates Variation
    1. Council's underlying structural deficits are not being addressed but treated as the status quo with no known plan to budget effectively, instead taking the easier route of applying for an increased 43% SRV. We the Ratepayers, will carry a $10m deficit in the BVSCs general fund by the 30 June 2023.(1) 2. Meanwhile the Mayor and Councillors have since awarded themselves a pay rise. (2) i) That Council resolve the annual fee payable to Councillors, paid monthly in arrears, from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024 to be $21,730. ii) That Council resolve the annual fee payable to the Mayor, paid monthly in arrears, from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024 to be $47,420. IN FAVOUR: Crs Fitzpatrick, Nadin, Seckold, Allen, Porter, O'Neil and Wright. 3. Bega Valley Residential Land Values have increased by 62.1%. (3) which would allow BVS Council to add a 43% SRV increase to our Residential Rates based on Land Values over 2 years if approved by IPART. This would increase payments from ratepayers to fund potentially more financial mismanagement by Council. There are 18,870 residential homes (4) occupying only 20% of the geographical land mass in the Bega Valley. The rest is primarily National Parks, State Forests and Crown Lands. We have a low median weekly income of $1501 for families and $1200 for households compared with $2185 and $1829 respectively for the rest of NSW. (5) 4. Council should only be funding core services instead of an extensive range outside our revenue capacity such as operating the Merimbula Airport (7), upgrades to Council’s Offices (8 & 9) at an estimated cost of $8,775.000.00, and the South East Centre for Contemporary Art (SECCA). (10) These overheads to not meet our demographic composition of 1) a median age of 52 with a larger senior population of 55-59 yrs (7.9%), 60-64 yrs (9.7%), 65-69 yrs (9.3%) and 70-74 yrs at 8% respectively and 2) the median weekly income (5 & 6). The 2021 Census reports that 50.9% of the Bega Valley population reported themselves as being in the labour force. This demonstrates that half the Bega Valley population are highly dependent on forms of government support and that those who do work, earn low salaries, well below the median weekly income for NSW. 5. The large proportion of pre-retirement and retired ratepayers (55 to 74 years = 35%), many of whom will be on fixed incomes cannot afford to pay for these proposed rate increases. Pressure on the Ratepayer to pay for non-essential services is an ongoing issue, which we the Ratepayers of the Bega Valley are fed up with. References (1) https://www.merimbulanewsweekly.com.au/story/8097896/bega-valley-shire-srv-not-enough-to-cover-projected-104m-deficit-in-general-fund/ (2) http://begavalley.infocouncil.biz/Open/2023/05/OC_24052023_MIN_854_WEB.htm (3) https://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/231802/VGNSW_media_release_-_South_Coast.pdf (4) https://profile.id.com.au/bega-valley/population (5) https://www.valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/231802/VGNSW_media_release_-_South_Coast.pdf (6) https://abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/LGA10550 (7) https://begavalley.nsw.gov.au/services/about-the-airport (8) https://begavalley.nsw.gov.au/files/Attachment-zingel-place-administration-building-report-sibling-architecture.pdf?v=1623592588 (9) https://begavalley.nsw.gov.au/files/Concept-Design-Estimate.pdf?v=1622037648 (10) https://begavalley.nsw.gov.au/council/decision-made-on-gallery-upgrade-project
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    Created by Janine H