• Utilize this government-owned land for disabled housing
    This would aid those who are on the Very High Needs waitlist for public housing, and may also need ongoing medical treatment at the nearby public Gold Coast University Hospital; also within short reach of two tram stations.
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    Created by Trudy Fox
  • 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
  • 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
  • Increase Newstart benefits for Chronic Illness
    It's a false economy to not decently support chronically ill people, since the sickness benefit is so low it actually perpetuates a cycle of poverty, stress and excessive loss of basic human needs, exacerbating a persons ability to heal and recover, which then compounds their illness and leads, to a permanent disability long term.
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    Created by Lu Moss
  • Return Community & Residents Rights - Stop Supercar Racing Blights
    V8 car racing outside residential homes is unsafe and unacceptable. The Supercar "Noise Management Plan" recommends residents living on the racetrack "Keep doors and windows closed; seal cracks, doors and window frames using commercial or make shift products. Basic protection measures may include: adhesive sealing strips for door frames and windows , temporary vent seals, under door strip seals/draught stoppers, fill cracks using commercial foam fillers or silicon; remain in back rooms; use hearing protection; leave property during some or all of the race period". Many residents living on the racetrack have no air-conditioning, and cannot afford to go away for the race period. They are faced with living in the above conditions for 3 x 10 hour days. Please note there are at least 3 ladies in the area that are pregnant, one of whom is expecting her baby to born the event weekend. The Heritage Conservation Areas of Newcastle and Newcastle East is wholly unsuitable for V8 Super Car street racing. The race preparations have seriously degraded residential amenity, homes are being damaged and convict hewn sandstone blocks are being sawn up for the benefit of the layout of the Supercars race track. Businesses are suffering some have closed and one successful business has already lost $70000 in takings. To add insult to injury hospitality is being outsourced to Brisbane or Sydney Supercars suppliers. The race will impact negatively on historic houses, buildings, public parks and the inhabitants on, and within, the racetrack. It will impede access to three aged care complexes located within the proposed racing area. There are over 4000 people residing in this predominantly residential area. NCC are unable to guarantee that sound levels are safe for all residents and that there will be no delay in response times to emergency and medical service. Preparations have resulted in reduced public safety and access to major tourist sites including Newcastle Foreshore Park, Horseshoe Beach, The Convict Lumber Yard, The Cowrie Hole, The Soldiers Baths, Nobbys Breakwall, Bathers Way, Newcastle Baths, Fort Scratchley, the Canoe Pool, and Nobbys and Newcastle Beaches. This will also be the case during the event. This race affects every user of the iconic East End in the lead up to and at the beginning of the peak holiday season. Our beautiful peninsula will be scaffolded and barricaded for three months each year and visitors will be discouraged from coming. The vast majority of people would detest having a 3 day car racing event on their street, or in their suburb. Please consider what residents and the wider community have been living through in preparation for, and during, 3 x 10 hour days of this car racing event. Residents are being asked to provide their private details, to a consortium, in order to be "accredited" to enter their own homes. Many residents will also be forced to walk through a concrete and wire structure, less than 1 metre from V8's racing, for over 200 metres just to get to a pedestrian bridge to get out of their home and away from this event. For residents with disabilities or mobility difficulties there is only one entry and exit, with only one lift to help over a thousand people. Supercars refuse to reveal the Sound Report and to add more insult to injury Destination NSW have given no conditions for which Supercars should comply to. We are trapped by this appallling legislation and we will be soon be trapped by an enclosure, and racing cars, circling our homes and suburb. ANALYSIS OF THE MOTOR RACING (SYDNEY AND NEWCASTLE) ACT 2008 (NSW) This is an Act that: 1. suspends the operation of other Acts protecting safety and the environment before, during and after the proposed event; 2. permits the event to be conducted on public land eventhough it would not be otherwise permitted under those other Acts; 3. permits the event to be operated by a private entity without charge and with the aim of making a profit for the private entity; 4. requires oversight of the event by a government agency, but with no right for any other person to legally challenge the competency or quality of that oversight; 5. severely restricts the actions of any other person in and around the public land where the event is being conducted; 6. prevents any other person suffering financial loss as a result of the event from claiming compensation from the private entity or the government agencies permitting the event; and 7. removes oversight of reinstatement of the public space after the event from the local Council and hands it to Destinations NSW, a government department that only has accountability for tourism. If you're interested in knowing more about the comparison of this track location in relation to other s'cars tracks in Australia head to this website https://rightracewrongplace.org/2017/07/07/compare-the-newcastle-circuit/ This video shows some of the destruction caused in preparation for this intrusive and dangerous event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPc_JXgiQB8&feature=youtu.be
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    Created by Newcastle Residents Picture
  • Stop the Debit Card trials . Stop the Privatisation of Social Security Payments to Indue
    The Cashless Welfare Debit Card takes away a person's right to choose where they shop, how they pay their bills and does affect where they live. Indue control how payments are made instead of you, your banking and bill paying abilities are affected when you are forced to change to either Centrepay or Indue to make your regular payments. You have to ask permission and provide proof of your bills to Indue Some payments are not accepted on the Indue Card or Centrepay ( Some Car Loans, parents have been forced to hand cars back after defaulting due to Indue unable to allow funds for payments) and you are expected to manage those accounts on your 20% allowance to be paid into your nominated bank. Rents are a problem, especially 3rd party rents, periodic leases, and private rentals, as we have seen many people being left behind in rent, late fees, new charges to change to other methods of paying and some made homeless due to Indue not allowing enough cash to pay their rent. Breach notices and debts, snowballing as other bills fall behind trying to catch up. 80% is restricted to the Indue Visa debit/credit card. Leaving people having to "beg" for approvals to normal things they used to be able to do. Online shopping is restricted, no Ebay. Gumtree, Paypal, Woolworths Online or access to enough cash to be able to purchase secondhand items from Facebook sites, friends, markets etc.Family debt is also a problem to be able to repay loans from families. Most people on some sort of payment for example, a student rely on being able to buy secondhand text books, pay cash room rentals etc, bus trips, with the indue Welfare Debit card there is not enough accessible cash allowed to do such things. Most people on newstart, share accommodations, rent rooms, share houses and utilities and pay cash for those expenses, they also rely on cash for transport on regional buses, secondhand clothing etc. Many people on the card are also working , parents working or partnered with working partners too, we have seen many workers put on this card because they don't have 38 hrs a week full time We have seen across all sites, but most recently the Hinkler site is seeing people struggling as we saw with the first 3 sites, mental health decline, anxiety, stress, depression, sense of worthlessness as people are stigmatised when using the card, public comments when people are seen using the card like " oh that's one of those cards for druggies and alcoholics etc, oh that's that druggy card" etc. When the majority of people forced onto this card have no such problems. How does someone pay their mortgage on Indue??? Mixed info , we know of a farming family who had to change mortgages only to find setting up their mortgage with a new bank they still couldn't pay their mortgage, have now had to work a work around to keep their home,trusted to pay their employees, yet put on the card because they receive part family payments! Some people access cheaper items on Ebay or other online services, like home shopping, many DSP are not able to get out all the time to buy things on a card, at an approved place, We all know there are people in our communities , working and non working that have issues with drugs, alcohol, gambling. This card targets not only those on social security with such addictions, but blankets the majority that do not have any issues, addiction nor financially other than struggling on below poverty line payments and does not address the problems over all in society with the same issues for working people, who can continue to drink, drug and gamble their income away, thus affecting their families too. We would like to see the card scaled back to people on a voluntary basis, with proper supports put in place to help people, Costings should the gov't expand to taking over the Basics Card recipients across the NT and other regions will add up to $233 Million up to 2021 if the Morrison Gov't continue to roll this now program out/ That kind of money could provide good services for those that need it in the community, Housing, Rehabs Councelling *Emergency housing rental crisis funds have been cut as of 1st of Jan 2019 in the Hinkler region, leaving people struggling when Indue does not pay their rents with no where to go for help from losing their rentals! Australians are all supposed to be covered under law equally, The Cashless Debit card see aussies forced onto the card stripped of rights and protections under the social security acts that have been suspended to allow Indue to take over their payments, Privacy, Dignity, Autonomy, Self Determination and Human rights breaches leave card recipients as lesser citizens no longer protected under the law, and stigmatised to be made out to be somewhat lesser for receiving social security payments, combined with the punitive Robodebts, Work For the Dole, Path Traineeships, Parents Next and Job Agencies now more interested in punishments and compliance than helping people get jobs, or receive supports with dignity, The lie if it works just like a normal debit card needs to be called out, along with the media and certain ministers pushing that the card is aimed at Drug, Alcohol and Gambling and Intergenerational Welfare, when none of it is true, It's about control of people and profits for Indue, nothing more,
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    Created by Kathryn Wilkes
  • NO SHORT-TERM LETS NEXT TO OUR HOMES - WE WANT NEIGHBOURS NOT STRANGERS
    NSW LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT JUDGEMENTS: "Mixed-Use is FUNDAMENTALLY INCOMPATIBLE." BUILDING STANDARDS, NSW FIRE & RESCUE plus DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION CRITERIA AND LEGISLATION ARE BEING IGNORED. ONE SET OF RULES FOR NSW TENANTS AND OWNER/OCCUPIERS, NO RULES FOR THOSE USING HOMES FOR HOLIDAYS. There is an AFFORDABLE HOUSING and HOMELESSNESS CRISIS STATE-WIDE. THE RIGHTS OF ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS ARE BEING IGNORED. SHORT-TERM LETTING STRIPS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE VALUE OF OUR HOUSING. HOMES NOT HOTELS...COMMUNITIY BEFORE PROFITS...NEIGHBOURS NOT STRANGERS www.neighboursnotstrangers.com
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    Created by Neighbours Not Strangers Picture
  • Save Our Wyong Hospital
    According to projections by GetUp, Wyong Hospital could lose up to $281 million in federal funding over the next decade. This is roughly the equivalent of 169 hospital beds, or 313 nurses, or 176 doctors.* These cuts are the outcome of changes to Federal-State funding arrangements made in the 2014 budget, which saw $57 billion ripped from local hospitals over the next decade. The Turnbull Government's recent budget restored just $2.9 billion, locking in $54 billion of these cuts. Meanwhile the Coalition is trying to argue that they have increased health funding. These enormous funding cuts come at a time when the Australian Medical Association and Australian Nursing ​& Midwifery ​Federation are warning of an imminent crisis unless hospital funding is increased. They could mean fewer doctors, nurses, or beds, and longer emergency room and elective surgery wait times. But there's hope. In this critical pre-election period, polling shows that protecting our universal healthcare system is the number one vote-changing issue for Australians. The Coalition's attack on public health is clearly ringing alarm bells for voters, and we have a plan to turn the volume up. In the lead up to this year's Federal Election, people will step up in their local communities to call on their Federal MPs and local candidates to commit to adequately-funded hospitals. Together, we will lay the foundations for a strong and secure future where all Australians can receive the quality healthcare they need. *The funding loss projections per hospital are based on figures provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and hospital bed figures (2013) provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The projections are based on the full $57 billion cuts figure and represent our best estimate given the available data. For more information see: http://www.getup.org.au/hospital-funding
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    Created by Paul Mailath Picture
  • Save Our Westmead Hospital
    According to projections by GetUp, Westmead Hospital could lose up to $690.6 million in federal funding over the next decade. This is roughly the equivalent of 414 hospital beds, or 770 nurses, or 433 doctors.* These cuts are the outcome of changes to Federal-State funding arrangements made in the 2014 budget, which saw $57 billion ripped from local hospitals over the next decade. The Turnbull Government's recent budget restored just $2.9 billion, locking in $54 billion of these cuts. Meanwhile the Coalition is trying to argue that they have increased health funding. These enormous funding cuts come at a time when the Australian Medical Association and Australian Nursing ​& Midwifery ​Federation are warning of an imminent crisis unless hospital funding is increased. They could mean fewer doctors, nurses, or beds, and longer emergency room and elective surgery wait times. But there's hope. In this critical pre-election period, polling shows that protecting our universal healthcare system is the number one vote-changing issue for Australians. The Coalition's attack on public health is clearly ringing alarm bells for voters, and we have a plan to turn the volume up. In the lead up to this year's Federal Election, people will step up in their local communities to call on their Federal MPs and local candidates to commit to adequately-funded hospitals. Together, we will lay the foundations for a strong and secure future where all Australians can receive the quality healthcare they need. *The funding loss projections per hospital are based on figures provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and hospital bed figures (2013) provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The projections are based on the full $57 billion cuts figure and represent our best estimate given the available data. For more information see: http://www.getup.org.au/hospital-funding
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    Created by Akanksha Bhatia
  • Raise Newstart Allowance
    Newstart Allowance has not been raised in real terms since the 1994 Federal Budget, when the payment was raised by a mere $2.95. Over the last two decades, the payment has stagnated, falling increasingly behind the rest of community, and creating widespread poverty for unemployed people. At $260 per week, or $37 per day, it is one of the lowest unemployment payments in the developed world, and well below the poverty-line. Newstart is now only 18 percent of the average wage, and 41 percent of the minimum wage. The low rate of Newstart profoundly affects the well-being of unemployed people, as well as making it harder for job-seekers to search for work. - 40 percent of Newstart recipients unable to pay their bills on time or see a dentist - 46 percent are only able to afford second-hand clothes most of the time - 44 percent of those surveyed reported having unsustainable levels of debt, owing more than they could afford - A majority turn off their heating and cooling to save money - 32 percent have skipped meals over the past year - 25 percent were suffering from 'housing crisis' – were spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing - 20 percent reported not having enough money for essentials like housing, food, and electricity - 63 percent reported that their income had fallen behind cost of living over the past two years - More than half are unable to raise $2,000 in the event of an emergency With government data indicating there are roughly five job-seekers for every job, Newstart is not a short-term payment. Over half of the roughly 750,000 unemployed people in Australia, through no fault of their own, are stuck on the payment for long periods, simply because there are not enough jobs to go around. Raising Newstart is affordable. The increase could be easily funded through budgetary measures that would not only affect small groups of very well-off people but would raise significant amounts of revenue. Savings generated from scrapping negative gearing ($15 billion), eliminating superannuation tax concessions for those on high incomes ($10.5 billion), and closing various tax loopholes for big business, could fund the long-overdue increase to the payment, with billions of dollars leftover. These figures dwarf the cost of raising Newstart: increasing the payment by $100 per week would cost roughly $4.5 billion per year.
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    Created by Anti-Poverty Network SA
  • Introduce a Basic Income to Australia
    For labour market entrants facing an economy with 40% of us in insecure work, the choices (for those aside from a lucky few) are largely between waiting to be notified of shifts via text message, rolling short-term contracts in the public sector, or studying for years and years to end up in the same trap anyway. And that’s all before the economy really tanks. We create enough value for everyone to have a basic living income. Australia is one of the richest countries in a world that has never been richer. Our GDP is on track to reach AUD$73,123.05 per capita this year. That we live with poverty, insecurity and economic anxiety is a matter of political choice, not necessity. We create enough value for everyone to have a basic living income. That’s why I’d like to propose every citizen, every permanent resident, receive a basic income of AUD$30,000 per year. No exceptions. No means testing. A universal minimum income. Imagine the creativity, innovation and enterprise that would be unleashed if every citizen were guaranteed a living. Imagine the savings with no centrelink department required to police and punish citizens. Universal income provides the material basis for a fuller development of human potential. Social enterprises, cooperatives and small businesses could be started without participants worrying where the next pay cheque would come from. Artists and musicians could focus on their work. More of us would be freed to volunteer our time for the public good. Some workers would no longer be faced with the unenviable position of having to choose between supporting their families and degrading their local environment. And all of us would have the option to pursue further education. Universal income won’t solve all our problems, but it puts us in a stronger position from which to start to solve them. A universal income would drive productivity growth and innovation across many fields. All while guaranteeing consumer demand. True prosperity and progress never came from cutting margins here and there but rather from radically new ways of doing business.
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    Created by David Hollis Picture
  • STOP high rises on The Gold Coast Spit
    The Spit is a vitally important community, tourism and environmental asset. It is a space for people to recreate and a break from the built urban density that is Surfers Paradise and Main Beach, leading to an environmentally significant recreational area defined by Marine Stadium, Doug Jennings Park and Federation Walk. It is vitally important to OPPOSE high rise development on The Spit for 10 main reasons: 1. one approval means the floodgates are open - goodbye low rise Mariners Cove, goodbye low rise Sheraton and watch EVERY other development go upwards - think of the money in this upwards land grab for developers and the losses it poses to the amenity of the Spit and Broadwater surrounds; 2. the GC Local Area Plan Map 26.3 (LAP), which is a product of community consultation and GCCC urban design planning, shows 3 storey height limits for the southern Spit area; 3. developer proposals to flout the LAP plan reflect greed alone; enabling high rise development dramatically increases their return upon investment, regardless of the community, local infrastructure and environmental impacts; 4. all developers who purchased southern Spit lands KNEW when they did so that height limits apply; 5. the community has consistently opposed increasing height levels for decades based upon a range of important issues and this is reflected in the outcomes of the Vision 2020 process; 6. height limits reflect the desire to frame the Broadwater appropriately: it is a precious community and environmental resource and surrounding it with high rises (once Southport became a high rise prime development area (PDA)) disregards its significance as well as increases pressures such as density, traffic, environmental and infrastructure footprint and the like; 7. height limits reflect the fact that traffic density in the area is already significant and increasing population in the area is just not practical; in particular, the traffic within Main Beach and to The Spit every weekend illustrates this fact; 8. importantly, the southern Spit accommodation represents a differentiated tourism product for the Gold Coast which MUST be protected. That is, it is high end, exclusive and expensive accommodation zone which caters for those who do not want a high rise experience. Yes, Justin Beiber stayed in Surfers - but U2 and Bruce Springsteen did not - they stayed at Versace and the Sheraton respectively. Why? Because a low rise, on the beach/ Broadwater experience is something to savour even for billionaires - and our tourism entities should be protecting that, not allowing it to be destroyed; 9. developers are free to construct high rises throughout the western side of the Broadwater in the Southport PD area; at present the hospital site remains open for development- Sunland are free to tender to construct their plans there which will of course yield all of the employment benefits they claim for their project; and 10. finally, we all know that one high rise means every developer will push for high rises from one end to the other of The Spit. GCCC propose draft amendments to the Town Plan (2015) which will facilitate high rise development on The Spit - see zone map 27 Southport (http://cityplan.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/pages/plan/viewerpdf.aspx?vid=10117) . We must protect this precious tourism, community and environmental asset from private exploitation - no matter what our political representatives say or do.
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    Created by Save Our Broadwater Inc