Archives for November 2014

Farmers should have the right to say what happens on their land

 

“The Victorian Government put a coal mining licence on my farm without asking me and that really annoyed me … The DLP policy is that farmers should have the right to say what happens on their land.”

– Bacchus Marsh resident Mark Farrell

 

Mark lives with his wife and three children in the outskirts of Bacchus Marsh, where he’s been running his own business in agricultural products for over 16 years.

Before making a home in the country, Mark  grew up in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne where he went to school at De La Salle and played over 250 games of football for De La Salle, Ormond and Caulfield Grammar.

Mark truly believes that the DLP can make a difference in regional Victoria. Mark has seen politicians become increasingly detached from every-day Australians, especially those living away from the big cities.

On the other hand, the DLP is a party made up of ordinary hard working Australians, people of principle, who love their country and want to bring it something better.

 

A vote for the DLP is a vote for a party not tied to big businesses or unions, a vote for a party comprised of every-day Australians who care about their communities.

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DLP a strong chance in Western Victoria and Western Metropolitan

The Democratic Labor Party is considered a strong chance to claim an upper house seat in Western Victoria and Western Metropolitan in this upcoming Victorian Election.

View articles:

Mail-Times 

ABC News

The Courier

GeekLections predictions 

 

 

Expand palliative care services

The DLP has a long standing commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in our community. In light of this year’s Victorian State Election, the DLP’s pledge to expand palliative care services is a core component of this commitment.

Presently in Victoria there are some outstanding palliative care services which seek to alleviate the pain and suffering of individuals who are in the last stages of their life. However, palliative care provision in Victoria is currently between 16% and 40% less than required to meet current need.

elderly handsThe DLP believes that all Victorians should have access to such services, without the fear of being a burden, the fear of being alone, or the fear of unbearable pain.

These fears, amongst a complexity of other factors, contribute to coercion to sign ‘Advanced Care Plans’ where ‘early exit’ is favoured.  If euthanasia laws are ever enacted in Victoria, coercion to euthanasia is also a very real danger, based on these fears.

The DLP believes that the only real alternative to euthanasia and assisted suicide lies in providing loving, competent and compassionate care to people with severe disabilities and/or to people who are dying.

The DLP believes that legislation of euthanasia and assisted suicide is completely unnecessary, in light of advances within medicine and alternative medicine for effective pain relief, and the development of modern methods of palliative care.

The DLP believes in offering people choices regarding end of life care, including an emphasis on identifying and treating depression.  To offer such choices, the DLP will promote:

  • greater acknowledgement of, and support for, unpaid carers (usually family members) in end of life care;
  • palliative care as a core business component in aged care services;
  • palliative care services appropriate for younger people;
  • the early identification and treatment of depression for people who are ill; and
  • widespread public access to education around the implications of advanced care directives, and the promotion of positive images of palliative care.

What we will do:

If the DLP is successful in winning a seat within the Victorian Parliament, we will:

  • in our maiden speech, promote a positive image of palliative care, including an acknowledgement of the need to expand access to services;
  • pursue the expansion of palliative care services through negotiations with the Health and Community Services portfolios;
  • speak out against advanced care directives which promote the early termination of life;
  • negotiate with the government of the day, to ensure that the expansion of palliative care, and the promotion of positive images of palliative care, receives full support.

The DLP will never support legislation which promotes euthanasia or assisted suicide.  If such legislation is introduced in Victoria, the DLP will lead a movement against this which will involve active negotiations within government as well as a broad community campaign.

 

 

 

 

Authorised by Michael Murphy, 14 Coventry Place, South Melbourne

DLP vows to reform poker machine laws

The DLP has a long history of standing up for the most disadvantaged communities in our society. This Victorian Election, the DLP remains committed to reforming poker machine laws.

As Peter Kavanagh, our most recent DLP Victorian member of parliament said in his maiden speech:

What is loosely called “addiction to gambling” is destroying the lives of some people and spurring crime. Gambling brings many millions of dollars to the government but at a catastrophic cost to some families and individuals. I believe that our present poker machine policies and practices exploit the poor, the lonely and the ignorant and should be changed. I think we have an obligation to ensure that gambling is sensibly and effectively regulated in such a way as to minimise problem gambling.

We understand that tens of millions of dollars are lost by Victorians each year in this industry.  In 2010, the Productivity Commission found that Victoria has the highest prevalence towards poker machine use in Australia.

Often, it is the people who can least afford to lose who bear the brunt of these losses.  The DLP also acknowledges the impact on families of problem gamblers, and the problems they face.
Tim Costello, a strong advocate for harm minimisation practices wrote:

Because most Australians don’t play poker machines, most are unaware of the risks involved…

Poker machine addiction affects individuals, families and communities and disproportionately affects people who are already financially vulnerable.  Poker machine venues are most strongly concentrated in poorer suburbs and areas…

The social costs of poker machine addiction are high, including relationship breakdown, mental health problems, unemployment, debt, financial hardship, theft and other crime, social isolation and all too often, suicide…

sadThere is one very simple way in which harm can be reduced at the pokies.  It is widely accepted that limiting the maximum bet on poker machines to $1 (down from up to $5 at present), and limiting losses to a maximum of $120 per hour, will reduce problem gambling.  This solution targets problem gamblers only, and would have little to no impact on recreational gamblers.

Harm could be further minimised through the identification of problem gamblers within gambling establishments.  While this is already a requirement of the Victorian Responsible Codes of Conduct, the DLP would seek to enforce this within venues – requiring staff to actively participate in harm minimisation practices.

 

What we will do:

If the DLP is successful in winning a seat within the Victorian Parliament, we will:

  • In our maiden speech, reaffirm our commitment to gambling reform, with an emphasis on harm minimisation for problem gamblers, which effects not only the gambler themselves, but also their families;
  • Introduce a private members bill which will: introduce $1 bets and maximum of $120 per hour losses;
  • Initiate a trial into the identification of problem gamblers within venues, and use this strategy to inform recommendations to government;
  • Negotiate with the government of the day, to ensure that these reforms receive full support.

 

 

 

 

Authorised by Michael Murphy, 14 Coventry Place, South Melbourne

Amend Victorian Abortion Laws, starting with Section 8!

Victorian abortion laws are amongst the worst in the world. They allow abortion ‘on-demand’ (without reason) up to 24 weeks, and abortion right up until birth, including partial-birth abortion, with signatures from just two doctors (which may be two abortionists and hence easy to obtain).

Other abhorrent things aside, these laws shamefully compel medical practitioners to comply. In other words, medical practitioners are not granted freedom of conscience if they have a conscientious objection to abortion. They are forced to perform an abortion or be party to it by referring a patient to another practitioner who will.

doctor

Many changes are required to the laws. However, the DLP views Section 8 as the first that needs to be redressed. Section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, entitled “Obligations of registered health practitioner who has conscientious objection” details the current “responsibilities” of medical practitioners, specifically doctors and nurses.

Section 8 restricts medical practitioners’ freedom of speech and of conscience. Personal beliefs about abortion aside, many people in the community support the right of medical practitioners to these important freedoms.

Indeed, hundreds of Victorian doctors have joined together in calling for changes to the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.

Conscientious Objection is a fundamental principle of the medical and nursing professions, and is enshrined in the ethical and conduct codes of the AMA, the ANF, the NHMRC and the Australian Medical Council.

Furthermore, Section 8 sets a very dangerous precedent towards coercing medical practitioners to perform other acts which may go against their conscience, such as euthanasia, the sterilisation of people with disabilities and infanticide on grounds of genetic defects or disability.

Section 8 has already been intimidating practitioners into compliance. In 2013, Dr Mark Hobart was investigated by the Medical Board of Victoria, for refusing to refer a couple who came to him requesting an abortion on the grounds of gender selection (the woman was pregnant with a girl, but the couple wanted a boy).

There have been other anecdotal stories which indicate to us that doctors and nurses are being threatened and pressured to be on rotations at hospitals where abortions are performed, and to refer under threat of physical violence or legal action.

 

Many changes to the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 are needed, including:

  • introducing a two week waiting period for any abortion;
  • banning the partial-birth method of abortion;
  • banning abortions on the basis of gender selection;
  • providing pain relief to babies being aborted;
  • requiring medical practitioners to resuscitate and care for babies who survive abortion attempts;
  • ensuring informed consent for abortions and expanding the options presented to women requesting abortions, such as counselling and adoption options.

 

What we will do:

If the DLP is successful in winning a seat within the Victorian Parliament, we will:

  • in our maiden speech, establish our sincere commitment to abortion reform , speaking about the reforms needed to the Act overall;
  • at the earliest opportunity, introduce a private member’s bill calling for the repeal of Section 8;
  • within 6 months, launch a campaign to reform further sections of the Act, in conjunction with a broad range of supporters from pro-life and health organisations;
  • negotiate with the government of the day to ensure these reforms receive full consideration;
  • promote the expansion of ‘choice’ through counselling and adoption, and campaign for open adoptions in Victoria;
  • promote free grief counselling for women who have suffered from past abortions.

 

 

 

 

Authorised by Michael Murphy, 14 Coventry Place, South Melbourne