• Julia Banks: Spend one week on Newstart or resign!
    In Australia, the Newstart Allowance is $350 per fortnight below the poverty line. It has not been increased in 24 years. It is the lowest unemployment benefit payment in the OECD. The latest data shows that there are only three rental properties affordable to the 855,000 Australians collecting Newstart. According to the Salvation Army, after housing costs it is estimated that unemployed workers only have $17 per day, The Business Council of Australia, Deloitte Access Economics, and even former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, all believe that Newstart should be raised as the payment is so low it becomes a barrier to work. What they don't recognise is that Newstart recipients are not only locked out of the labour market because they can't afford to look for work, they are also locked out cause there is not enough to go around. The latest ABS data shows that on average there are 15 jobseekers competing for every job. For this reason, the average period spent on Newstart is over 4 years. And yet despite this, Julia Banks - who has a base salary of $200,000 per year and owns 6 investment properties - stated that she could live on Newstart. When we went to her office to ask her how, she locked the doors. As an Member of Parliament, Julia Banks should be fixing this crisis, not kicking the unemployed while they are down. Well its time to put up or shut up, Julia. Live on Newstart for one week or resign.
    3,969 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Wil Stracke
  • For-profit aged care providers are putting profits before their responsibility to care
    Aged care residents receive one and a half hours less care than they should, every day. Yet there are no rules to ensure the $2.17 Billion in government subsidies given to for-profit aged care companies is spent directly on their care. Proof of government funding being directly spent on care for residents needs to be mandated as a pre-requisite to receiving a taxpayer funding. It’s time to make aged care operators accountable for how they spend billions of dollars of taxpayer money.
    2,669 of 3,000 Signatures
  • Change the Rules on Workplace Discrimination
    The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has been fighting for LGBTI rights for decades. We believe that no worker should face the sack for coming out at work. But under current laws there over 200,000 jobs in Australia - including at least 38,564 jobs in Victoria alone - that a worker can be fired from if they come out. These include teachers, school staff, doctors and health workers. May*, a lesbian woman, was employed by a Christian welfare agency for two years when she was asked to resign after they found out about her relationship with her partner. She told the Lobby: “I resigned and fell apart after having served that community for years. The fall out also meant I had to leave my church community. All of this resulted in mental health challenges, isolation, loss of faith, friends, purpose... I can’t express the devastating impact being asked to resign due to my sexuality had on my life. I lost everything - my vocation, faith, community - and had to rebuild myself from a very broken place.” Workers like May deserve job security and fair rights at work. Our political leaders must commit to scrapping loopholes in the Fair Work Act to protect workers like May from workplace discrimination. * Name changed in order to protect privacy
    315 of 400 Signatures
  • Stand Up for All Workers - Dump Maltzahn
    For decades Kathleen Maltzahn has spearheaded anti-sex work activism, including the founding of Project Respect - a group that lobbies to extend police powers over sex workers, widely condemned by unions and workers. Maltzahn will again contest the 2018 state election to be held in November this year, despite failed campaigns in 2010 and 2014. Her platform includes implementation of regressive laws that would expose sex workers to police raids and violate their safety at work. Maltzahn’s radical policy agenda is championed by the far right within the Victorian Liberal party and supported by the Australian Christian Lobby. Maltzahn stands completely at odds with member-endorsed Greens policy, which has long called for an end to the criminalisation of consensual adult sex work - a policy endorsed by the United Nations, Amnesty International, the World Health Organisation and workers rights groups across the world. Recently Maltzahn was asked whether, if elected, she would vote with the Liberals on this issue. She refused to answer. When Maltzahn was asked by the ABC what she would do if this came before her in parliament, she stated, “I would vote with my conscience which would put me in conflict with my party.” The same conservative groups that support her stance on this are calling to scrap transgender rights, ditch the Safe Schools program, ban sex education in schools and gut funding for LGBTIQ health programs. How can we trust Maltzahn to stand up for the issues we all care about if she holds the balance of power in state parliament?
    252 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Mitzi McKenzie-King
  • Sacked for requesting fair pay!
    Hospo workers are too often exploited. We work without breaks, we're not treated with respect and our wages are stolen. I stood up to my employer and was fired for exercising my rights! Businesses like BARRY get away with this kind of behaviour too often. I'm calling on the Fair Work Ombudsman to conduct a full audit of BARRY and order repayment of wages to past and present staff. Send a clear message that it's time to take wage theft off the menu.
    3,995 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Anna Langford
  • Carinity: Show You Care
    As an outreach of the Queensland Baptists, Carinity claims to “provide communities of care, compassion and respect” to those in need, yet is failing to provide any of these things to its staff – Carinity doesn’t seem to care. Carinity’s cuts to the working conditions of teachers and school support staff will put them behind their counterparts in other Queensland schools and create second-tier teachers in the state but Carinity doesn’t seem to care. Carinity’s cuts would reduce superannuation provisions for its largely female workforce putting their financial futures at risk but Carinity doesn’t seem to care. Carinity’s cuts would deny its staff access to community standard leave provisions including paid Domestic Violence Leave – an area that Carinity works in and claims to care about yet when it comes to its own workers facing such devastating circumstances, Carinity doesn’t seem to care. Carinity’s cuts would mean its students’ teachers are worse off despite Carinity publicly emphasising the extra support their students, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, are given by school staff but Carinity doesn’t seem to care.
    1,635 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Independent Education Union Qld & NT Picture
  • Sorry means you don't do it again
    • The number of Indigenous children taken from their families has doubled in the decade since the 2008 apology to the Stolen Generations. Less than 35 per cent of these children are placed with their Aboriginal family. • Funding continues to be directed to removing children. There is no serious investment in early intervention that help keep families together, or to meet the unmet needs for housing, employment and other basic services, the root cause of the “neglect” that leads many children to be removed. • Once kids are removed families struggle to get them back, with little support provided and a system biased against return. Current reforms are placing children in foster care until they are 18 years old almost immediately and there is a further push to ease restrictions on adoption.
    218 of 300 Signatures
    Created by After the Apology
  • Stop the Liberal attacks on the LGBTIQA+ Community
    As a trans male this not only affects me but the whole LGBTIQA+ community. When will the Liberals understand that we are just people? We are your neighbours, friends and family members. We have jobs, we study and pay taxes just like everyone else. Together we fought so hard for the YES vote, now we need to come together again to protect future generations. Bullying, harassment and suicide rates have sky rocketed from this kind of treatment. What we do and teach affects the generations to come. Is this really where we want to be in 2018? Don't let the Liberals send us backwards. The Liberals need to stop putting us back in the closet! We're here, we're queer and we are here to stay. You can read more about the anti-transgender motions being put forward here: http://junkee.com/victorian-liberals-transgender-proposals/154540
    1,334 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Malaki
  • Fund the Gap - Mental Health Matters!
    The Victorian government is gutting the community mental health sector. It argues that it can pull this funding out of the sector because the NDIS is a better system for people with mental health needs. But here is what is really happening: • 91% of Victorian with severe mental health needs are not even eligible for the NDIS – leaving a massive 135,000 people without any support services. • Mental health admissions at ED’s have jumped over 19% in the past 4 years, putting an incredible strain on an already over-burdened system. • Victoria spends less per capita on mental health support than any other state or territory – $197 per capita to the rest of Australia’s average of $227. Along with these shocking facts, more than a thousand well-trained and dedicated Community Mental Health workers are being forced out of their jobs. This is devastating to them, their families and the people they support. Community Mental Health workers work in services that support Victorians with a wide range of mental health challenges. Their support helps people to live better lives and contribute to their communities. Community Mental Health is the frontline of mental health services that takes pressure off the hospitals and other acute services, the police and the courts. We’ve been warning of a crisis in mental health support – that crisis is now here. Vulnerable people with complex needs are falling through an ever widening gap. The Andrews government must recognise this looming disaster and act quickly to save Victoria’s recovery-focused community-based mental health support services.
    1,241 of 2,000 Signatures
  • Increase to the Newstart payment
    Newstart at $269 per week, is $177 per week below the poverty-line. It is less than 41 percent of the minimum wage, less than 18 percent of the average wage, and has not been raised in real terms for 23 years.
 Even the Business Council of Australia has advocated to the government that the low rate of Newstart presents a barrier to employment and risks entrenching poverty. 
 Increasing Newstart would benefit local economies, by increasing the spending power of those on low incomes, whose extra funds would circulate through local businesses. It would also reduce the strain on Council community services assisting the growing number of people experiencing hardship. Eleven local councils in South Australia and Victoria have added their voices to the chorus of business, union and welfare groups which have called for Newstart to be increased. The South Australian councils which have passed motions are Adelaide, Clare and Gilbert Valley, Copper Coast, Kangaroo Island, Mount Gambier, Onkaparinga, Playford, Port Adelaide Enfield, Salisbury, and Streaky Bay. In Victoria, the Moreland City Council has also passed a motion. The inadequacy of the Newstart payment entrenches poverty and contributes to homelessness. With the growth of gentrification and development in Melbourne's inner west the Newstart payment is no longer providing the means for Maribyrnong's working-class and migrant population to live in the area. The Maribyrnong City Council should support the motion to increase Newstart and protect the area's identity as being one of the most diverse and accessible places to live in Melbourne.
    143 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Tilde Joy Picture
  • We need wage theft laws - now!
    Right now, some businesses are exploiting young workers. Instead of contributing to our community, they’re stealing from vulnerable young people, and conditioning them for a life of exploitation. I was one of those young workers. I worked for a year at a cafe in Camberwell, just outside of the Melbourne CBD. During my time there, I was classified as a part-time worker. That means I should have had regular shifts and access to paid annual and sick leave - but instead I was treated as a casual, at the cafe's beck and call, and had no access to paid leave. Over $8000 in wages and $700 in superannuation were withheld from me by my boss in just a year - and it took months of negotiations and a review of my full roster history to get the wages I claimed backpaid to me. I'm just one of thousands. Wage theft is an epidemic. At least a fifth of young workers have reported that their hard-earned wages have been stolen from them in scams; they are paid for fewer hours than they work, are illegally denied correct pay, have their superannuation stolen or their accrued leave withheld. All these forms of wage theft are against the law, but they still happen. Bosses know that they’ll only receive fines or warnings if they get caught- and that they're not likely to get caught. A series of audits by Fair Work in 2016 revealed that almost 58% of hospitality businesses (cafes and restaurants) and 39% of retail businesses were stealing wages. That’s potentially hundreds of thousands of cases of wage theft! But only a fraction of these cases ever end up in court. It shows that the current legal system is stacked in favour of bad employers who choose to underpay workers to increase their profits.
    20,042 of 25,000 Signatures
    Created by Jordan Waters
  • Keep Ramsay Centre out of ANU
    Background: The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation was established in March 2017. It’s funded by the $3 billion bequest of Australian businessman and top Liberal Party donor Paul Ramsay. The Ramsay Centre says it wants to “advance education by promoting studies and discussion associated with the establishment and development of Western civilisation.” Board member Kim Beazley also said the study of Western civilisation "needs a systematic voice" in Australian universities. In December last year, it was announced that ANU and the Ramsay Centre had opened negotiations about creating a degree. Overview of the Degree: The proposed undergraduate degree, titled 'Bachelor of Western Civilisation,' would offer text-based courses for yearly cohorts of sixty students. Thirty students each year would receive $25,000/year scholarships. The proposed program comprises 16 core courses, typically taken over three years, which will cover “great texts,” art and architecture from Western civilisation. The degree will be ‘elite but not elitist’; the ATAR required for entry will be 97. Negotiations are ongoing and both the Ramsay Centre and ANU have said academic independence will be respected. However, Ramsay Centre CEO Simon Haines has said they will review all course content, not hire teachers who have criticised Western civilisation and will withdraw funding if they think the course isn’t sufficiently pro-West. Our Stance: We oppose the ANU’s collaboration with the Ramsay Centre based on the Centre’s ideological bias and its stated aim to teach only the positive aspects of Western civilisation. We do not think that such uncritical teaching should have a place at our university. We oppose the reductive premises on which the Ramsay Centre is based: the idea of a ‘West’ and the assumption of its superiority.
    84 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Sam Brennan