Contacting & Lobbying Members of Parliament

See Suggestion articles below, after the letters

__________________________________________________________________________________

To: 'Minister.McKenzie@health.gov.au' <Minister.McKenzie@health.gov.au>
Subject: Genetic modification of all organisms and food

January 2019

Madam : I have been studying this area of what I call “Frankenstein Science” for many years and have ten books on the subject. They are written by concerned scientists and health professionals. It is deeply concerning to me and many others, that the serious side effects of genetic modification are being ignored for vested interest agendas to do with huge potential profits. There is also the important issue of scientific and medical ethics where it is clear that unacceptable boundaries are being crossed.

The contamination of traditional and organic crops, by genetically modified crops nearby, has also been proven to be an issue of deep concern. Despite years of warnings from experts, Pandora’s Box appears to have been opened on that one ?!

Now we are apparently staring down the barrel of genetic manipulation of all sorts of things, including animals, for God’s sake. When are these mad scientists going to realise that we are playing God and fighting Nature ?  We shall never win that game !

Many highly educated Australians who have studied the whole GM issue are deeply concerned about the influence of giant biotech corporations on government decisions. Our politicians appear to have abrogated their duty-of-care to the people and all our biodiversity, in order to aid and abet immoral and unethical entities who only have mega-profits in mind ?

Why is the federal government just going ‘belly-up’ to these entities and attempting to deregulate the use of a range of new GM techniques, including in animals, plants and microbes. The vast majority of Australians who care about animal welfare and bioethics, do not want major risks evolving, including to animal welfare, human health, the environment and the economy. Why would the government want to put our lucrative food industries at risk ? This is insane !

The Chinese are already dabbling in “designer babies” ! This is what could happen here if techniques are deregulated; how do you police mad scientists who think they are above the law and want to go down in history, no matter how awful their new invention is ?!

The people of Australia are very concerned about the actions of the OGTR and FSANZ that appear to be facilitators for vested interests, and certainly not there to safeguard the people against unscrupulous biotech corporations and their scientists ?  Why have the European top court’s ruling on new GM techniques, and the need for safety assessments, been ignored ??  The likes of Monsanto/Bayer are on the record as admitting that even they didn’t know how far cross-contamination of GM organisms with the natural environment could go ?!  How then can they be trusted when they state that their techniques are “precise and predictable” ?   As I have said, their motivation is profits and the potential irreversible damage, appears to be of no importance ?!

How can any government put the country , its people and biodiversity at risk, in such a blatant way ? It is the height of unconscionable irresponsibility.

The Hodges family

Fly the flag 

January 2019

Let's announce on Australia Day that we’ll fly the Australian Aboriginal flag permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge from now on. 
The flag was designed by artist Harold Thomas, a Luritja man of the central desert and was first flown in Victoria Square, Adelaide, on National Aborigines Day in July 1971. 
It became the official flag for the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra after it was first flown there in 1972. I agree with former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley. We should be proud of 60,000 years’ residence here by our indigenous Australians. 
Let’s also acknowledge indigenous Australians fought for Australia in the Boer War, both world wars, East Timor and Afghanistan . 
Flying the flag on the bridge would be a mature and harmonious action, very appropriate to these circumstances. 
The two flags flying there would define the Australian identity, made up of overseas descended and indigenous, together making up the Australian nation. 
Helen Dowland

Action on climate change

October 2018

Subject: Action on climate change
Comment:
To Mr Scott Morrison 
Dear Prime Minister,

I am an Australian citizen and voter. I am on the electoral roll. I am not a school student. However I am proud of the school students who are striking over the issue of climate change . With respect I agree with them and I am proud of them for taking a stand over this important issue. As PM your highest legal responsibility now is to the security of Australia & the Australian people including those school students. With respect I am telling you as an Australian voter that you must make war on climate change not on school students. 
In the coming election I will be voting entirely on the Climate Change issue. I will vote for whoever is willing to start a plan immediately now as advised by the recent IPCC report & change to renewable energy as soon as possible.  Immediately. To take action comparable to putting the country on a war footing and do the following:
***-Stop using COAL, 
-STOP EXPORTING coal, 
-STOP ALL FURTHER NEW COAL MINING including mining in The Galilee Basin in Queensland,
-STOP Mr ADANI from STARTING ANY NEW COAL mine. He is already digging there as I write and speaking as an Australian voter I want him stopped. I want the school students to be allowed to strike. But I want Mr Adani stopped. He is not an Australian citizen. He is not even Australian.
-STOP searching for GAS and OIL EVERYWHERE in Australia and her OCEANS including the AUSTRALIAN BIGHT. 
-Make or actively continue with a PLAN to change to RENEWABLES.
Delaying and denying reality is as culpable as it would be delaying if there was a vast terrorist bombing force targeting Australia just about to cross our coastline. 
As PM your highest responsibility now is to the security of Australia & the Australian people including those school students. As far as I'm concerned they have a right to take any action they see fit to take. I am 72. I have been an Australian voter for about 50 years and I still am. I will gladly legally nominate one of those school students as my legal representative in this matter. As far as I'm concerned they would learn nothing in school as important as what they are demonstrating that they have learnt by being out on the streets on the issue of climate change. As I said I am proud of them and I am not a school student. 

I am a qualified voter. I have a right to vote in the federal election in any way I see fit. I will use my vote to promote the right of any school students to take action in the physical world that they have been forced to inherit by people like you Mr Morrison who are climate change deniers pure and simple and who by your actions are forcing the physical reality of the world to become toxic and deadly for these young students to try and live their lives in. 
Are you aware sir that as a politician you serve at the will of the Australian voter? You are merely our representative in parliament. Your job is to do as we tell you to do and I hereby legally tell you to take notice of these young people because they represent me They are right and you are wrong. STOP telling them to do what you want them to do. They are doing what I want them to do.
I'm sure that climate change is the most serious threat Australia has faced in the past 100 years, that Pincluding the two 20th century wars that were called World. The IPCC Report submitted to the world by the world's most serious panel of scientists on this issue is saying the same thing. Climate change is not as obvious as an attack by a foreign power, but it’s a threat to Australia’s security every bit as much as a naval fleet and air attack. As a voter I am telling you to take notice of people representing me such as these young students. They have my full confidence. With respect sir I believe that they are right and you are wrong. Now we can have lawyers sort this out if you wish but the Australian Constitution is quite clear on this issue. I have been on the electoral roll for 50 years and I have a right to ask you to represent me and to do as I wish.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the US didn’t ignore it & try to carry on with internal business as usual. They took immediate very active steps to defend the safety & security of the nation. And they were very successful.
This is a similar situation. It looks different of course from the normal sort of military attack we’re used to historically. But it’s vast, unstoppable & indiscriminate & it has the potential to destroy Australia. 
Australian voters are watching. We want a very clear & immediate response as decisive & definite as that of the US in 1941. I am telling you, you need to make war on climate change not on school students. You could call it a War on Climate Change.
Australians want decisive action on climate change! I'm sure you can do it Prime Minister. For the Australian voters at whose will you serve and hold your job. You can save Australia if you will act now and as an Australian voter 

I am asking you to represent me and act now.

Yours sincerely

Helen Dowland

World  Fisheries Day

November 2018

The Federal Minister for Agriculture,

The Hon David Littleproud,

Dear Sir,

November 21st - World  Fisheries Day. Is this a celebratory day?Given that the Earth's oceans and the life therein do not appear to have too bright a future, a wake may be more appropriate than a celebration. The wake could be held for the creatures that are farmed or harvested then killed in as cruel a way as the animals herded, traded, slaughtered and consumed on land. I suggest however that the wake may well indeed be held for humankind for our very life depends on the survival of the world's oceans.
Every year, between .97 trillion and 2.7 trillion fish are harvested from the waters of the world. This is unsustainable and oceanographers predict the collapse of all economically important seafood populations by 2048. The removal of such a significant quantity of living creatures from the oceans ensures that the ecosystem will not survive. Without a viable eco-system the seas will die. This lifeless mass, it is suggested, will be little more than a murky sludge. Without the waters of the oceans the world as we know it will likely not exist. With the ocean's water gone there will be no clouds, without clouds no rain, without rain no crops or meat industry, without food no us? So out of self-interest alone, apart from obvious animal cruelty concerns, immediate action is crucial if this wanton destruction is to be stopped and the damage repaired.
Overfishing is but one cause of the damage being done to marine eco-systems. Pollution from farm runoff in the form of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilisers; detergents; oil; sewage and plastics are finding their way into the oceans further compromising the health of marine eco-systems upon which so much depends.
Perhaps on this day the fervent calls for action will be heeded by those who have it in their power to reverse the devastation of marine ecosystems and set in place a recovery plan. This action plan must address protection of all marine animals ( ensure that fish are included in all animal welfare legislation); development of biodegradable products and banning of plastics; invest in research and development to clean up our oceans; fund research into less cruel fishing methods.
  We may yet survive.Rosemary Kerr

Redesign the NEG

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

Please redesign the NEG. Please work with the states to develop a new approach to the NEG. Please do what's needed at this time. Please work with the States and design a new NEG.
The detailed beauty of the wildlife and their environment of Australia is unbelievable and must be saved. Every detail interdependent on every other detail a million times over. Those wilderness areas sustain us. We need them. I need them. They belong to us the Australian people and they must be saved in all their detailed beauty and wonder. We love them. That's what makes us Australian. And gives us our Australian values.
This is what the ANZACs fought for. It's what they remembered and longed for from overseas. It can still be saved now. That's what they would want. It's what we want. Save it for us please. You can do it, I know you can. Redevelop the NEG. Work with the states and it will come out right.

Thank you so much for your attention and consideration
Yours sincerely
Helen Dowland

Dairy Industry promotion in SA schools

Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2018  
Subject: Dairy Industry promotion in SA schools
To: John Gardner <
morialta@parliament.sa.gov.au>

Dear Sir, I am writing to you as the SA Minister for Education regarding the programme prepared by the Dairy Industry and which is finding its way into SA schools.

I have serious concerns about this venture.

Firstly I would question the legitimacy of a government's sanctioning the promotion of a commercial concern in school classrooms. It is reminiscent of the 'educational tours' arranged by Coca Cola during which classes of pupils were conducted through the factory and 'rewarded' with a bottle of coke at the end. The strategy is suspect and leaves itself open to the criticism that it is really no more than a coercive 'sales pitch'. Would other businesses ever be given open access to the classrooms (eg.vita soy, Sanitarium, Patons Macadamia)?

Secondly, the growing body of evidence regarding the harmful impact of dairy food on our health is convincing. Should we be advocating a food which is, at this time, in question? Back in the 1970's a coke was thought to be a harmless soft drink - now we know better. On-line the research is documented by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Will students be directed to this research?

Thirdly . The animal cruelty inherent in the dairy industry is disturbing. The milk produced comes at a great cost to the animals, as the cow must constantly produce a calf which,if male, is removed immediately for slaughter.

Cows bellowing and obviously suffering at the loss of the baby time and time again is heart wrenching. Will this aspect of the industry be touched on?

I can only hope that many teachers in their wisdom will adopt more enlightened teaching strategies and use this  programme as a vehicle for developing critical thinking skills, in-depth analysis and personal response in their students. Will they have the freedom to put the Dairy Industry under this close scrutiny? It would be unfortunate if the 'jug-to-mug' teaching of the past prevailed. Especially as the jug would be full of milk!

A final question. As most ventures are driven by money in our society I ask, "What is the financial 'deal' between the Ministry of Education/ Education Department and the Dairy Industry? Who is paying whom?"

I would welcome your comments and answers in a reply to my letter.

Yours Sincerely

Rosemary Kerr  

 

August 2018

Dear Mr Shorten and Mr Butler,

I'm writing today say thank you to you and the Labour Party for the stands you've taken towards stopping the National Energy Guarantee.

I've seen a bit of news footage where you look relaxed and confident but even so it can't be easy, so thank you even more and well done!

Please keep up all your opposition for this in every appropriate way. Advocate. Raise it in discussion and debate. Negotiate. 
I trust you to do your best on this critical issue. Many thanks on all our behalf for your help.
Yours sincerely
Helen Dowland

BSc Flinders University of SA 1969
Dip Ed 1988 Adelaide University

Benefits of renewables

To the Prime Minister,

I'm writing to ask you please give up on coal and re-examine the massive benefits of renewables. I know that you have publicly stated your commitment to coal but you are a man of such gifts of communication and such intelligence that no one would find it strange if you were to change at this point and explain your reasons. They would accept it. And I am sure it would be greeted with acclaim.
I'm assuming that you are leaning to coal because you think there is still money to be made from it in this final stage of Earth's history. But I suggest that there is also a massive amount of money to be made from renewables. You would gain nothing but great credit from making the change at this point.
You know that most of the Australian people would prefer for energy to come from renewables from now on and it would be a very popular decision if you would make the change now. This is the main issue on which people may well choose to vote for Labour rather than for you.
Abandon and call off all further searches for either gas or oil. Leave them dead in the ground where they belong.
Please give this your earnest consideration. Thank you very much.
Helen Dowland

Educational materials for use in primary schools by Dairy Australia

The Hon. John Gardner

SA Minister for Education

Parliament House

North Terrace

Adelaide

SA 5000

Tuesday 31st July 2018

Dear Minister,

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the promulgation of so-called educational materials for use in primary schools by Dairy Australia through their Discover Dairy website.

Primarily, I am troubled by the targeting of young children in the guise of misinformation regarding health and nutrition to promote a commercial industry that is a major contributor to the depletion of the environment, and which makes misleading claims about health benefits and misrepresents farming methods.

First, as bovine milk is mostly water, dairy farming ranks as one of the highest if not the highest consumer of water of any industry. Conservative estimates calculate that at the very least three times as much water is required as dairy milk produced1-2. That is, in the driest state of the driest continent, for every 10 litres of bovine milk produced, a minimum of 30 litres of water are needed not only to provide drinking water for cows but to irrigate pasture or grow grain for their food supply, and as part of the entire manufacturing process. Furthermore, the expulsion of methane from cows themselves, and the production of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide by agricultural machinery and fertilisers are well-attested in scientific literature as major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, claims that dairy milk is essential for building calcium are by no means equivocally supported by clinical research3. Indeed, regular physical exercise is a more reliable means of developing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. What is more, dairy products such as butter, cheese, and ice-cream are sources of cholesterol and saturated fat, and are recognised as contributors to cardiovascular disease4. Most worrying is the association between dairy products and male/female forms of cancer5-8. In specific regards to a child’s diet, the consumption of dairy milk may be associated with the later development of food allergies9.

Finally, and most disturbingly, the rosy, bucolic picture of contented cows presented to young children is far from the brutal reality10. Resources produced by Dairy Australia deceitfully exploit the warmth and curiosity children feel towards animals. Although naïve children are made to believe cows willingly produce milk for their consumption, the truth is cows only produce milk to feed their own young. I doubt, however, that Dairy Australia will provide a video of cows being kept virtually constantly pregnant through the invasive use of artificially insemination.

Nor will children be shown the fate of any male calves born, otherwise known as ‘Bobby calves’, who are the waste collateral of the dairy industry. These newborns are separated from their mothers within days of birth to be transported in inhumane conditions to slaughterhouses, while their nursing mothers continue to produce milk for their babies. You can well judge for yourself how traumatic that would be for children who could not imagine being taken from their mother. Yet this is the same industry that practices such callous acts who are seeking to infiltrate schools to maximise profits through their dissemination of misleading material presented as ‘online curriculum-linked educational resources’.

As a teacher with some thirty years’ experience, I am appalled by the utter disregard of the fundamental necessity to present balanced and accurate information for teaching purposes, especially to young children. Indeed, the material I have viewed is closer to indoctrination than it is to education and I would seriously question any school that recommends their uncritical use to staff.

I therefore respectfully urge you, in so far as you are able as Minister for Education in South Australia, to call for Dairy Australia as a matter of social responsibility either to disclose full information concerning the dairy industry and reference literature that is sourced from research that has no vested interest in their industry, or desist from marketing their industry through a disingenuous campaign aimed at schools.

I look forward to hearing your response to my concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Smith, PhD

47 Davenport Terrace

Wayville

SA 5034

1.      Ercin, AE, Aldaya MM & Hoekstra, AY 2011. The water footprint of soy milk and soy burger and equivalent animal products, Value of Water Res. Rep. Ser. No. 49. UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands.

2.      Hoekstra, AY 2012, The hidden water resource use behind meat and dairy, Water Footprint Network, viewed 31 July 2018, < http://waterfootprint.org/en/>.

3.      Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, & Barnard ND 2005, ‘Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence’, Pediatrics, vol. 115, pp. 736–743.

4.      Warensjo E, Jansson JH, Berglund L, et al., 2004, ‘Estimated intake of milk fat is negatively associated with cardiovascular risk factors and does not increase the risk of a first acute myocardial infarction’, Br J Nutr, vol. 91, pp. 635–642.

5.      Qin L, Xu J, Wang P, Tong J, Hoshi K 2007, ‘Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer in Western countries: evidence from cohort studies’, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, vol. 16, pp. 467–476.

6.      Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, et al. 2013, ‘Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians’. J Nutr, vol. 143, pp. 189-196.

7.      Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci E 2001, ‘Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians’ Health Study’, Am J Clin Nutr, vol. 74, pp. 549-554.

8.      Kroenke CH, Kwan ML, Sweeney C, Castillo A, Caan Bette J 2013, ‘High-and low-fat dairy intake, recurrence, and mortality after breast cancer diagnosis’, J Natl Cancer Inst, vol. 105, pp. 616-623.

9.      Host A 2002, ‘Frequency of cow’s milk allergy in childhood’, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, vol. 89, no. 6, Suppl. 1, pp. 33–37.

10.    Animals Australia n.d., What you never knew about dairy, Animals Australia, viewed 31 July 2018, <https://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/dairy.php>.

To The Hon John Gardner, S.A. Minister for Education

The Hon John Gardner,

S.A. Minister for Education

Parliament House

North Terrace, Adelaide.

July 30th 2018

Dear Sir,

On June 25th 2018  I was one of four people who met with your Chief of Staff, Cheryl, to discuss several issues including our concern about the Dairy Industry blatantly pushing their agenda to schools, with polystyrene cows for children to decorate, and more recently encouraging them to redecorate them for a prize; with extensive associated lesson plans for teachers, worksheets for students, and an incredible range of biased classroom activities for children from Junior Primary and beyond.

At our meeting with Cheryl we had very little time to devote to this important issue.

Here is a link to the material ‘Dairy Education’ being promoted to school students:

http://dairy.edu.au/discoverdairy

One of my objections to this indoctrination and sales promotion by an industry, is that it is done in a one sided manner, with no alternative or more sustainable and healthier options for them to consider.

The points below would be better adopted for discussion, if used at all.

· The ethics of sales promotions of commercial products in the classroom

· This is a one-sided story by the dairy industry, with no alternatives presented

· A missed opportunity to have students research a 'for and against' for a project-based learning experience

·  A classroom debate opportunity, encouraging students to study scientific evidence, rather than only presenting the industry’s viewpoint and propheteering objectives: “Get ‘em while they’re young”

· Develop students open-mindedness and inquiry approaches

Scientific evidence now proves that dairy products contain no fibre and children around the age of two years lose the ability to digest milk as they no longer produce the enzyme ‘lactase’ which breaks down the lactose in milk . Many children suffer from chronic constipation.

Adults have no need of another species milk to be healthy in fact animal products, including milk, means our Western diet contains far too much protein, making our bodies acidic. To compensate our bones leach calcium into our bodies to achieve the normal balance which is to be slightly alkaline. Thereby weakening our bones and actually causing osteoporosis

Casein is in all milk and is especially concentrated in cheese. Even in healthy people, excessive intake of casein can cause a number of side effects such as digestive disorders, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea andvomiting. Casein is addictive, as it affects the same part of the brain as opiates do.

As cows are artificially inseminated every year in order to give birth, the calves are taken from them and the milk they produce contains large amounts of the female hormone, oestrogen, because they are milked while pregnant and after bir

More facts on these issues are found on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Website (PCRM).

So surely allowing the dairy industries to infiltrate schools should be stopped at once.

I look forward to your reply.

Diane Cornelius

Whistle Blowers Beware

June 2018

Espionage & Foreign Interference Bill, Attorney General Christian Porter,

Dear Sir,

I'm writing to you about the Espionage and Foreign Interference Bill
I understand that this bill could bring criminal charges and severe penalties to Australian charities and not-for-profits that are an essential part of our modern democracy. 
But to me and to most Australians this is totally unacceptable.

We believe Australian Individuals and groups should be free to convey their opinions & concerns to their government without fear of prosecution or imprisonment. 

To me the tax payers in a modern balanced democracy actually *are* the government. They appoint the politicians who IMO only hold their jobs at the will of the people and are always accountable to them. It's a modern democracy not a dictatorship or an oligarchy.
I'm afraid this bill is a clear overreach by the Turnbull government. It is not acceptable, nor necessary, to trample the rights of Australians in this way and long term it must backfire.

Please drop the bill in this present form and go back to the drawing board consulting organisations, charities and individuals to discuss their impacts and concerns.


Yours sincerely
Helen Dowland

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP,

June 2018

Prime Minister of Australia

House of Representatives

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Sir,

You could not have missed the wide spread media coverage of the nation wide "Ban Live Animal Export Rally" depicting thousands of Australian voters calling loudly and clearly for this vile trade to be ended. None of the exporter perpetrators have been prosecuted or even charged with cruelty offences to animals. Since the Awassi Express exposure in April, two other barely seaworthy vessels have been permitted to leave our shores with thousands more animals forced to meet the same gruesome fate. More rust bucket vessels are waiting to join them.
Upon leaving our shores in winter, within days they have to face the intense heat of the northern summer in stiflingly filthy, crowded conditions. The little extra space the Federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, has called for after the exporters' vet Michael McCarthy's report will not alleviate their suffering. 

Animals should never be sent live to countries that have no animal welfare standards in continuous boatloads. Yet this is done every year for the Islamic 'Festival of Sacrifice' (the Eid) where animals are butchered in their millions world-wide for religious offerings. Over many decades we have seen animals stuffed in the boots of cars and their throats hacked with blunt knives. 

This year the West Australian newspaper revealed Emanuel Exporters responsible for the Awassi Express, had been involved in voyages to the Middle East two years in a row in which thousands of animals died of heat stress. Yet Graham Daws, Emanuel's Managing Director, would not comment. This man won an award for excellence this year, from the disgusting industry. How low can they go?

We are writing to you again because we have been reading some disturbing articles about the government withdrawing it's Bill, that would have given regulators more power against rogue operators after Labor signalled it would amend the legislation to ban live exports.

Sheep graze, so when offered strange food in pellet form they often don't recognise them as food. Their food and water on these filthy vessels is contaminated from urine and faeces from the floors above. 

We have heard about the lack of water accessibility and availability to the sheep aboard the Awassi Express, injury and illness not being treated and the veterinarian and stockmen leaving the vessel prior to completion of unloading.

But what takes the cake as far as voters are concerned was Littleproud's latest weak statement, after promising that exporters found doing the wrong thing would be held to account.“I expect and hope the independent regulator is using the full extent of its powers.” Hope and expect!!!

Australian voters demand the live trade be stopped by your government immediately, and will not forgive or forget your lack of action to prevent these repeated atrocities.

Phil and Diane Cornelius                                               bcc Hon Bill Shorten MP

Address and Ph. number supplied                                        Leader of the Opposition

Hon David Littleproud MP

The Honourable David Littleproud
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

June 2018
Mr. Littleproud, after yesterday's nation wide demonstration against the live export of animals from Australia it seems that this industry may be nearing its 'use by' date.

With 80% of the Australian population against the industry, with world wide condemnation, with farmers' criticising the whole procedure of getting their stock to market and  with the relatively low return from the live export trade (5% of the meat trade - and falling) I ask, why is the Turnbull government so determined to maintain the industry?

Because in our economy profit is the driver I ask, whose profit is the government so keen to protect?

Why have the export companies never been penalised? Even after the recent exposure of horrific abuse why have there been no charges? Is the conflict of interests somewhere

You have, Mr  Littleproud, alledged that those who protest against the live export trade have 'lost their moral compass'. No not lost but,unlike yours, I suggest our compass directs us to compassion and justice for all creatures. 

Your compass I believe gauges profit, power and prestige at any cost.

Rosemary Kerr

Dr McCarthy’s recent ‘faux’ review

The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister of Australia
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Thursday 24th May 2018

Dear Prime Minister,

The content of Dr McCarthy’s recent ‘faux’ review was certainly no surprise given his longstanding defection to the employ of live animal export moguls.

Dr McCarthy is a rogue vet who has betrayed the trust placed in his medical training to uphold the protection of animal welfare by prostituting his professional status for commercial gain.

References to his report being ‘independent’ slews the word from its meaning of impartial and objective to that of merely ‘being left to work it out on his own’.

The fact that your government has staked its entire assessment on the report of a sole individual who refers nearly ten times to papers bearing his own name as author as evidence for his recommendations, while ignoring the advice of a peak body such as the Australian Veterinary Association, is an underhand and disingenuous ploy.

Reduced stocking density is touted as the so-called ‘scientific’ solution but my questions to you Prime Minister are: how will decreasing the number of animals in the hull of ship that is not fitted out to withstand the scorching heat of the Persian Gulf stop sheep literally boiling alive? How will the supposed increases in ventilation and air flow reduce temperatures that are lethal in their severity? And finally, would you consent to sitting in a car in full sun in an Australian summer with just the windows open and no other occupant inside with the assurance that this would ensure you would not suffer from heat stress?

Revealing comments by the scrofulous former Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, normalising the mass suffering and deaths of sheep whether on land or sea only confirm the poor estimation your government has of animal welfare.

Furthermore, what amounts to the virtual acquittal by Judge Michael Gething of disgraced Wellard General Manager, Garry Robinson, whose ruthless dishonesty signed the death warrant for a staggering 22,000 sheep in Pakistan in 2012, is shameful evidence of the legal clemency shown to the corrupt practices of live animal exporters in the current political climate.

Evidence if further evidence were needed can only support the prohibition of this horrific trade.

I would appreciate receiving your considered response to the serious questions I have asked above.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Keith Smith    

 cc The Hon Bill Shorten MP   Leader of the Opposition                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Dr McCarthy’s recent ‘faux’ review (2)

The Honourable David Littleproud
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Thursday 24th May 2018

Dear Minister,

The content of Dr McCarthy’s recent ‘faux’ review was certainly no surprise given his longstanding defection to the employ of live animal export moguls.

Dr McCarthy is a rogue vet who has betrayed the trust placed in his medical training to uphold the protection of animal welfare by prostituting his professional status for commercial gain.

References to his report being ‘independent’ slews the word from its meaning of impartial and objective to that of merely ‘being left to work it out on his own’.

The fact that the federal government has staked its entire assessment on the report of a sole individual who refers nearly ten times to papers bearing his own name as author as evidence for his recommendations, while ignoring the advice of a peak body such as the Australian Veterinary Association, is an underhand and disingenuous ploy.

Reduced stocking density is touted as the so-called ‘scientific’ solution but my questions to you Minister are: how will decreasing the number of animals in the hull of ship that is not fitted out to withstand the scorching heat of the Persian Gulf stop sheep literally boiling alive? How will the supposed increases in ventilation and air flow reduce temperatures that are lethal in their severity? And finally, would you consent to sitting in a car in full sun in an Australian summer with just the windows open and no other occupant inside with the assurance that this would ensure you would not suffer from heat stress?

Revealing comments by the scrofulous former Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, normalising the mass suffering and deaths of sheep whether on land or sea only confirm the poor estimation your government has of animal welfare.

Furthermore, what amounts to the virtual acquittal by Judge Michael Gething of disgraced Wellard General Manager, Garry Robinson, whose ruthless dishonesty signed the death warrant for a staggering 22,000 sheep in Pakistan in 2012, is shameful evidence of the legal clemency shown to the corrupt practices of live animal exporters in the current political climate.

Evidence if further evidence were needed can only support the prohibition of this horrific trade.

I would appreciate receiving your considered response to the serious questions I have asked above.

Yours sincerely

Keith Smith                                                     cc The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP                                                                                        Shadow Minister for Agriculture                 

Minister David Speirs MP,

Minister for the Environment and Water.

May 24th, 2018.

Dear David,

The news in the article, in the Advertiser May 24th, Pg 5, "Wild dogs in trappers' sights," that aerial baiting of wild dogs, (which will include our native dingoes) is about to recommence in the north east of our state, is horrifying. As we discussed in our previous meeting on May 4th, the use of the poison 1080 will have devastating impacts not only on the dogs, wild and domestic and native dingoes, but any bird, reptiles and native species and in any water-way the animals' carcasses could pollute.

You said you would ask your Chief of Staff to research the horror of death for any animal from 1080 poison, and get back to us.

Native animals, kangaroos and dingoes, are given the title of "pests" which immediately reduces them to non-animal, non-protected status and they become targets. 

An excerpt from the Dept of the Environment and Science, states, "Eye-catching, curious and sometimes dangerous, the dingo can be observed across Australia where they play an important role in the natural environment.

The dingo has a role as an apex predator and is also believed to play a role in keeping natural systems in balance. In addition, dingoes also prey on some feral animals, and in this way can aid the survival of native species.

Dingoes hold a significant place in the spiritual and cultural practices of some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. As an iconic Australian species, the chance to observe a dingo in its natural habitat is also considered an exciting opportunity and privilege. This wildlife experience attracts tourists, resulting in flow-on economic benefits."

Our country is home for our native animals that have lived here without harming the environment for millennia. Since the importation of sheep in 1797, as well as cattle, camels and goats that people could farm and profit from, our iconic naive animals are being pushed to extinction. 

Our country has been turned into a dust bowl, due to massive increase since WW2 of industrial animal agriculture. Loss of native species and their habitat due to rural and the urban encroachment is the worst in the world

As we also discussed at that meeting, people from overseas are fascinated by our iconic and unique wildlife and how disappointed they are when they come to see them, that they are not here. We are missing out on their tourist dollars, as word of this soon spreads on social media.

The burgeoning middle class in participating countries will never be satisfied, and the unsustainable animal industry is destroying our country ecologically and morally. Future generations will view this historically as our darkest hours of animal cruelty.

Thank you for reading my letter. I await your reply.

Diane Cornelius

Live Export Trade

The Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

May 2018

Dear Mr Littleproud,
First, thank you for setting up a formal review into the Live Export trade. I think this is the least that the Australian people expected or demanded.

It was a shame that it was chaired by Dr Michael McCarthy, an individual who has been on the payroll of live exporters for some considerable time and therefore someone who can hardly be considered as “independent”.

Likewise, it was also disheartening that the review chose to ignore the advice of several animal science experts, notably the Australian Veterinary Association. Although in light of my previous sentence this was hardly surprising or unexpected.

As you may recall, the Australian Veterinary Association noted that reduced stocking densities will not alter the cruelties or hardships that the sheep will face on these journeys. They will, as 60 Minutes reported, still be effectively cooked alive on these ships as they become exposed to the high temperatures and humidity levels of the Middle East.

The suffering of one animal is no less cruel than the suffering of many.      

It is a shame that you put the wishes of the exporters above those of the animals, science and Australian people. Sir Humphrey Appleby would be impressed. Unfortunately, for you, the Australian people are less so. This issue is not going to simply disappear. The Australian people who deserve so much better will not look away. The next Federal Election is looming and I promise you that many voters are waiting to give a voice to those that cannot be heard.   

Morgan Michie

Listen To The Thousands of Australians

The Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

8th May 2018

The Hon. David Littleproud MP,

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources,

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives

Parliament House

Canberra ACT

Dear Sir,

We are writing to call on you to listen to the thousands of Australians who are demanding the banning of live animal exports, as this issue is a vote changer. 

On May 6th 2018, hundreds of people who had never rallied against live export in the past, were compelled to add their voices to the animal advocates who have been marching, rallying, writing letters to the Editors of newspapers and politicians, emailing and telephoning their MP’s with the same message, to “Ban this vile trade.”  

On May 5th, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper published graphic photographs and videos supplied to them from the whistleblower who gave Animals Australia the report for Channel 9’s, 60 minutes, which showed crew members attempting to scrape the bodies of the 2,400 dead sheep, from the decks. 

According to Lynn Simpson, a vet who has been on 57 export voyages, who viewed the footage for Fairfax Media and said the almost liquid condition of the carcasses and the state of their limbs popping off at the slightest handling showed the animals had effectively boiled to death.  

The report stated that as the men tried to move the bodies of the sheep onto plastic so they could be transported to the side of the vessel and tipped overboard into the sea, the bodies of the sheep spilled apart, their limbs "popping off" at first touch. The bodies of the sheep were heaped and bundled up in plastic and released overboard, their melted innards spewing into the sea.

There have been 70 reports of gross animal abuses aboard these death ships yet not one prosecution or loss of export licences have resulted. The Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) is a farce and not worth the paper it is written on.

With a federal election approaching, the Liberal government has a golden opportunity to show they have regained their moral compass, accept that voters have been heard, and at last ban live export.

 Diane & Phil Cornelius (address and phone number supplied. bcc'd Joel Fitzgibbon, opposition Minister for Agriculture)

The Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

May 2018

Dear Minister,

This is our second, updated letter to you on the appalling issue of live animal export, that is still causing Australian citizens/voters a great deal of heartache and misery.

As we have written in a submission to the Prime Minister, we are incensed and furious that you have given the public lip service and platitudes by requesting a report from a veterinarian, Michael McCarthy, who has had 30 years of working for live animal export companies and has never attempted to expose the cruelty of which he would have been well aware. He had been on 65 such voyages on these death vessels!! In his report, he ignored the science available from the Australian Veterinary Association recommending a ban.

Deputy PM, Michael McCormack's recent press release (May 21st) to the Australian press and people was a disappointing replica of your press release by just adding to the weak rhetoric. 

To add to the even more insult to Australian citizens, within a day of the report coming out, you were off to Qatar and Kuwait to grovel to them to not buy sheep from elsewhere. We have seen many shocking exposures of appalling cruelty over decades, although none on the scale as that of April 10th, 2018.

We care about the devastation of our planet for future generations. Animal agriculture on the scale countries are demanding and our greedy animal farmers are wanting to provide, is definitely unsustainable, wrecking the ecology, the morality of our country and the health of the people. The burgeoning middle class, in participating countries, will never be satisfied. Future generations will view this historically as our darkest hours of animal cruelty.

People like Sussan Ley, Sarah Henderson and Jason Woods will be known in future as pioneers of one of the greatest revolutions of our time, when animal rights won against all odds. Ms Ley pointed out that this is an industry with an operating model built on animal suffering.

Defenseless animals must be protected now as the misery and suffering is in full sight and in front of Australians' minds.

Politicians first duty is to listen to the people who gave them a mandate, and the message you are hearing is loud and clear. 

This is your opportunity to take heed and respond with a clear conscience.

We look forward to your reply,

Diane and Phillip Cornelius

Address and ph number supplied

Liberal Party, on the issue of Live Export

May 2018

dunstan@parliament.sa.gov.au

Dear Mr Marshall,

I welcome your thoughts, as Premier of South Australia and leader of the South Australian Liberal Party, on the issue of Live Export.

You would have no doubt seen the protests by the good people of South Australia at Port Adelaide, and more recently, on the steps of Parliament House, North Terrace. You may have read some of the numerous letters sent to The Advertiser, or listened to the various phone ins on South Australian radio shows. You must have seen the news coverage on local news broadcasts (Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10 and ABC)

These ships carrying the animals leave regularly from Port Adelaide. From the State I live in.

In light of recent exposes on the Live Export trade can you tell what you and your Government intends do to reduce the suffering of animals caught up in this trade?

Having watched South Australian animals unable to stand, unable to access food or water, living days on end in their own waste matter, you may decide that enough is enough. You may decide that having South Australian animals effectively boiled alive on these ships is a step too far. You may decide that with 60,000 animals dying on these vessels within the last five years, and an average of 2,000 animals dying on each voyage that perhaps this trade should cease forthwith.

You may decide that all the money in the world doesn’t really make up for the moral shortcomings that are inherent in this trade.

You may decide that South Australia and the people who live in this great state are better than this.

You may decide to listen to the South Australian people.

I hope so.

Kind regards

Morgan Michie

Betrayed By The Liberal National Party

May 2018

The Hon. David Littleproud MP,

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources,

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives

Parliament House

Canberra ACT

Minister,

We view with disgust and feel betrayed by the Liberal National party’s lack of meaningful immediate action to the Australian public’s demand for an end to live animal exports. As the minister responsible, you make us feel powerless in the face of such atrocious events.

As Australians citizens we need access to the 23 findings made by the industry’s long term vet.

Nothing has changed. The weather is the same, the thousands of animals on board are the same, the thirst and hunger are the same, the heat and stifling humidity are the same, the stinking excrement is the same. Yet animals are still suffering. How can you justify this?

When the sheep are reported to be cooking alive, how and what action are you going to take to fix it right there and then? What uncaring person would have let them go in the first place!!!!!!!

If nothing is done immediately thousands of animals will suffer the same fate no matter how many independent inspectors are on the vessels. So when reports come back from ships at sea during the northern summer that animals are being cooked alive, how will you explain your lack of intervention.

National Farmer's Federation president, Fiona Simpson, insists animal welfare standards and "memorandums of understanding" have in been place since 2003. They are an absolute farce.

The government has shown complete misunderstanding of changes needed.and has again put economics before animal welfare, according to Dr Bidda Jones from the RSPCA.

For decades the industry was continually called 'world's best standards,' yet 65 recorded abuses have gone unpunished with no penalties or loss of export licences. All since the 30 years Dr McCarthy has been employed by the industry.

The report is stated to be a 'very complex formula' that people will need to think about. As concerned Australians have been demanding an end to the trade surely they have the right to read this document.

Diane and Phil Cornelius

We Strongly Support Your Stance

May 2018

Alannah MacTiernan MP,

WA Government, Minister for Agriculture and Food,

Dear Ms Mac Tiernan,

We strongly support your stance against the appalling live animal export trade and thank you for it.

Premier, Mark McGowan, said if appalling conditions continue to grow, the clamour to close the industry will become irresistible. As you know, that is already the case. 

We must reconsider the way we treat animals, reducing them to nothing but instruments of our blind domination, which alters them into products of consumption. We cannot blindly sacrifice their well being for our brief self-interests, leaving us morally impoverished and reduced because of it. 

There is no scarcity of kindness, that needs to be distributed sparingly. It is a way of being, to alleviate suffering. Loving animals does not mean loving humans less, making our benevolence even greater.

Farmers, transporters and exporters know full well that the gentle animals should never be crammed into rusty, unsafe vessels and sent in their thousands to countries that have no idea how to respect their sentience or lives.

You have the support of the majority of Australians, who admire you greatly for your stance.

Yours Faithfully,

Diane and Phil Cornelius

Address and Ph number supplied

Animal Exports to Continue

The Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

 

Tuesday 15th May 2018

The Hon. David Littleproud MP,

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources,

PO Box 6022

House of Representatives

Parliament House

Canberra ACT

Dear Mr Littleproud,

Your decision to allow live animal exports to continue to the Middle East during the northern hemisphere summer months of May to October is as culpable as it is perverse.

Not only is your approval of the Emanuel Exports vessel, the Al Shuwaikh, taking sheep on board in Fremantle a deplorable oversight ahead of the findings of your own review, but it displays a level of disregard of the recommendations of the Australian Veterinary Association that is insulting.

Indeed, it shows contempt for the very animal welfare regulations that are legally incumbent upon a federal government to uphold.

I recall in your feigned response to the 60 Minutes report that you wanted to shake the hand of the young man who exposed the egregious conditions sheep were subjected to.

But it is clear that it has been other hands that you have been busy shaking.

It is with sadness I remember my short conversation with a teenager riding his skateboard who stopped me on my way to the recent Adelaide protest against live animal exports, asking what my sign was for.

After briefly explaining, he retorted ‘It makes money and isn’t affecting anyone’.

It was deeply disheartening to realise that here was a boy whose grasp of human values and ethics was on a par with Canberra.

Dr Albert Schweitzer, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the philosophy that was the foundation of his humanitarian work, argued ‘How much farther along would we be if men showed some concern for other forms of life and renounced all the evils they inflict upon so many living creatures from sheer thoughtlessness’.

He also professed, ‘I cannot but have reverence for all that is called life. I cannot avoid compassion for everything that is called life. That is the beginning and foundation of morality’.

It is shameful that in this country we have a government that actively perpetuates cruelty and suffering as the harsh collateral of economic and political duplicity.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Keith Smith

Address and Ph number supplied

Exposures On The Live Export Trade

April 2018

Dear Mr Littleproud,

In light of recent exposes on the Live Export trade can you tell what you and your Government intends do to reduce the suffering of animals caught up in this trade?

You are no doubt aware of the RSPCA’s recent survey showing 3 out of every 4 Australians wanting this trade banned.

likewise you are no doubt aware that, based on current polling, the forthcoming Federal Election will be extremely close between the main parties and that, as a result, it is often manifesto policies towards the fringe that swing voters. As such the attitude of political parties towards Live Export will be a significant influence as to how the numerous undecided/apathetic voters decide to cast their vote.

Alternatively, having watched Australian animals unable to stand, unable to access food or water, living days on end in their own waste matter, you may decide that enough is enough. You may decide that having Australian animals effectively boiled alive on these ships is a step too far. You may decide that with 60,000 animals dying on these vessels within the last five years, and an average of 2,000 animals dying on each voyage that perhaps this trade should cease forthwith.

No amount of additional regulations, whistle-blower hotlines (you may recall that the owners of these ships confiscate the phones of all crew members immediately after boarding), increased code of conducts and additional reviews will make any difference. You of course know this as you’ll be aware that over 70 reported breaches of existing regulations have occurred within the last few years with absolutely no penalties being issued against the exporters. So there appears little point in increasing the number of regulations to be effectively ignored.

You may decide that all the money in the world doesn’t really make up for the moral shortcomings that are inherent in this trade.

You may decide that Australia and the Australian people are better than this.

I hope so.

Kind regards

Morgan Michie (address and phone number supplied)

Subject: An Anzac Day Call To End Live Animal Exports

Sent: Wednesday, 25 April 2018 1:21 PM
To: Patrick, Rex (Senator)

Dear Rex Patrick,

I am writing today on Anzac Day to join my voice with the many other Australians who are calling for a total ban on live animal exports.
In close to 15 years, I have written, telephoned, and met with members of parliament and senate, and am continuing to do so in the light of recent damning evidence of the deplorable conditions of the multi-storied hell-holes (previously used to ship cars) on which no living being, animal or human, should be expected to travel long distances in high summer or any time of year.
But I also write while news of further scandals continues to reveal the sordid depths to which corruption has become commonplace, whether it be the Australian Tax Office, AMP insurance company, or banking institutions.
Recent admissions that the federal government ‘got it wrong’ about blocking a banking royal commission are a poor consolation for what was a culpable degree of ineptitude.
Yet, the governments of our day continue to normalise the industrial scale of suffering that is the hallmark of the live animal export trade by supporting the contempt of ethical and operational standards that lies at the very foundation of this vile business.
could, I ask, the same dissembling tack be taken by the government if it were shown that a school routinely confined children to squalid conditions in which they were sexually abused?
But of course we’re only talking about animals. Dead sheep and cattle are the inevitable collateral of a trade of this nature. Are they?
Speaking closer to home, we have seen how the South Australian government for years failed to take action against reports of the abuse of elderly dementia patients at the Oakden aged care home in Adelaide.
If a government shows apathy and prevarication in one sector, it will not be able to suddenly reverse this trend in others.
In short, I argue that the issue of the welfare of animals is the frontline of the social welfare and justice issues of any disenfranchised or vulnerable group.
I am frustrated by the Boys’ Own level of rationalisations touting the economic benefits of live animal exports when we all know it is a pittance compared to the chilled meat trade. Let us at least put that political shibboleth to rest.
I call for the abolition, not a reform, of this shameful and toxic disregard for living and breathing beings in the name of wanton profit.
I call for decisive action from a government that is responsible and unequivocal, and which does not couch collusion with disreputable live animal exporters behind the high flown dismissal of ‘knee-jerk’ and ‘emotional’ reactions.
My grandfather knew what it was like to stand in the squalor and effluence of fear and death.
As an English infantryman, he survived the trench warfare of the Somme while fighting with the First Division in the First World War.
He was the first person who taught me kindness by example.
The words of ‘Abide with Me’, one of the hymns we sing today on Anzac Day, and which was sung at my grandfather’s funeral, cannot fail to move: ‘Help of the helpless, O abide with me’.
These words call to mind how the young and brave of our land, especially at Gallipoli, were thought to be little more than cannon fodder by high command in the war to end all wars, an endless supply to be sent over the parapet.
On this day, I ask you to weigh in your conscience the true cost of live animal exports to our national soul.
Lest we forget.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Keith Smith ( address supplied)

 

To The Secretary Department of Agriculture

Monday 23rd April 2018

Secretary Department of Agriculture (Export Division)

Dear Mr Quinlivan,

I am writing to express my outrage at your recent decision to grant an export licence to the owners of the Bader III, who have a history of non-compliance with government regulations.

It appalls me that you have taken such reprehensible action in full knowledge that it is the very vessel which is the centre of the furore over the appalling conditions which have led to sheep dying in their own excrement as they were cooked alive in scorching temperatures.

Your utter contempt for the damning evidence documenting the truth concerning those multi-storied hell-holes is nothing short of culpable.

In your position of responsibility as secretary, you have not only failed to uphold official standards but your complicity with the live animal export industry has allowed disreputable operators to continue to flout the law.

As a South Australian, I am filled with disgust that the Bader III, which lacks ventilation and basic sanitary facilities, making it no better than a crude sewer, is waiting, as I write, outside Port Adelaide to load more sheep.

Live animal exports have been shown beyond any question to be untenable, morally and operationally.

Surely, Mr Quinlivan, it cannot be a matter of personal pride to know that your name is on the next shameful disgrace to be reported.

As a matter of principle and urgency, I therefore call on you to revoke licences that you have authorised pending a full investigation of the legal breaches that live animal exporters have committed.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Keith Smith

Address and Ph number supplied

Support ending Live Export

Dear Mr Georganas MP,

Thank you so much for deciding to support ending Live Export.

I greatly commend you for this and thank you very much for it!

As you clearly know it's an issue that greatly concerns many Australians and South Australians. I therefore feel sure many people will be grateful to you for this stance and will hope to support you in your future career.

Yours truly,

Helen Dowland

             Support of Member Sussan Ley

April 2018

Thank you for your support of Member Sussan Ley's phasing out and ending of the Live Export Trade.
I commend you heartily and gratefully for this stance. 
I'll remember this and support you whenever I get the chance.
Well done and many thanks indeed!

Yours sincerely
Helen Dowland

Politicians need to recognise animal rights.

April 2018

First, thank you for setting up a formal review into the Live Export trade. I think this is the least that the Australian people expected or demanded.

It was a shame that it was chaired by Dr Michael McCarthy, an individual who has been on the payroll of live exporters for some considerable time and therefore someone who can hardly be considered as “independent”.

Likewise it was also disheartening that the review chose to ignore the advice of several animal science experts, notably the Australian Veterinary Association. Although in light of my previous sentence this was hardly surprising or unexpected.

As you may recall, the Australian Veterinary Association noted that reduced stocking densities will not alter the cruelties or hardships that the sheep will face on these journeys. They will, as 60 Minutes reported, still be effectively cooked alive on these ships as they become exposed to the high temperatures and humidity levels of the Middle East.

The suffering of one animal is no less cruel than the suffering of many.

It is a shame that you put the wishes of the exporters above those of the animals, science and Australian people. Sir Humphrey Appleby would be impressed. Unfortunately, for you, the Australian people are less so. This issue is not going to simply disappear. The Australian people who deserve so much better will not look away. The next Federal Election is looming and I promise you that many voters are waiting to give a voice to those that cannot be heard.

Louise Pfeiffer

Searching for gas in any form in Australia

13 March 2018

Sent to Mark Butler, Jay Weatherill, Josh Frydenberg, Ian Hunter,

Anyone who understands the Issues involved is like me extremely concerned about the following issue: searching for gas in any form in Australia. 
We absolutely need to have a total ban on all searches for gas. It should be dead & a thing of the past.

Damage on a vast scale to the environment, people, wildlife & stock is the inevitable result. We just have to stop it.  We just have to stop it. We just have to stop it. And the search for unconventional gas is especially damaging to people, the environment and land.

I'm especially concerned about the bad effects of searches for unconventional gas throughout Australia that I know are happening currently as I write this.

I'm in contact with people in western NSW, the Northern Territory, & Western Australia and I'm very concerned about the appalling effects of this unconventional gas industry on Australia as a whole for the present and future.

In particular I am in immediate current contact with people in the South East and Leigh Creek areas who tell me that searches for unconventional gas are going on now as I write. The bad effects of this are happening already. 

Children have medical problems right now from the dispersal of toxic chemicals caused by these searches. Parents are understandably absolutely desperate. Also, they have the constant noise of the search process compromising their management of this difficult situation. 

We've been in contact with people in the US where this process has been going on far longer and we know beyond doubt how terrible it is. There's extensive scientific evidence to confirm that there's no good side to this process.

STOP all activities related to gas searches everywhere in Australia!

Yours sincerely

Helen Dowland

Stalled Murray Darling Basin Plan

10 February 2018

Dear Mr Mark Butler MP,
 I'm emailing again about the Murray Darling Basin Plan that seems drastically stalled in western NSW & being muddled by politicians up there. 

 I'm very concerned that our current politicians seem to be letting important parts of the environment get into a very bad state. Their plan seems to be let it all worsen unchecked until it's so dire that there's a serious public reaction, & perhaps then do something.
 

In the case of truly serious issues I don't think that's good enough.
Take the issue of water in the Murray Darling River system. If it's left at insufficient levels far upstream in NSW, then inevitably here in SA the day finally comes that there's not enough water for the Murray to flow through to the sea.

Now even people who weren't paying attention always notice this! There's an outcry & something has to be done urgently. And urgency means greater difficulty & expense.

You & I have seen this so many times in our lifetime. Please do all you can to prevent it happening again. It needs fixing now in western NSW. The Murray Darling Basin Plan needs everyone's support now!

I trust you to do all you can in this important matter.
Yours sincerely,

Helen Dowland

Contacting & Lobbying Members of Parliament

Who to Contact

This depends on whether the matter concerns Federal or State/Territory or Local Government responsibilities or laws. If you're unsure, a phone call to your local (Federal or State) MP's office is probably a good first step.

Federal (Commonwealth) Parliament

Members of the House of Representatives (MPs)
Search for your local member at the Parliament House Member search page
Or use the excellent new They Vote For You website

Senators
For a list of Senators from your State or Territory, see the Parliament House Senator search page.

Ministers and Shadow Ministers
Current lists of Ministers and Shadow Ministers and their portfolio responsibilities are available on the Parliament House website.

Committees
Both the House and Senate operate Committees across a variety of topic areas, as well as Joint Committees (with members from both houses), some of which are administered by the House, and some by the Senate. See the following links for full details:

House Committees | Senate Committees | Joint Committees

There are certain periods during which Committees will accept submissions from the public, on active Inquiries they are conducting. These submission periods are often short and announced with little or no lead time. EFA's Policy and Research Team regularly drafts submissions to such inquiries. If you're interested in becoming involved in this work, you can apply to join this team (membership is open to all EFA members). Please see our Functional Teams page for more details.

If you're particularly interested in one specific issue and have expertise in that area, please contact us as the Policy and Research Team is always open to working with subject matter experts on specific submissions.

For certain major inquiries, we will publish a guide to assist individuals to draft their own submissions. When this occurs, this will be promoted on our home page.

State and Territory Parliaments

While the majority of the issues EFA is focused on are determined at the Federal level, we do from time to time provide submissions to State and Territory Parliamentary inquiries. Contact details for your local State or Territory MP or upper house members (note that QLD and the territories do not have upper houses), are available at the following links:

Territories: ACT | Northern Territory

States: NSW | Queensland | South Australia | Tasmania | Victoria | Western Australia

Contact Methods

Face to face meeting
If you can arrange one, an in-person meeting with your representative and/or a relevant member of their staff is likely to be the most effective method of contact. A meeting usually needs to be arranged at least a week (and often more) in advance. Unless you're in Canberra, your best option is to try to arrange a meeting outside Parliamentary sitting periods. See when Parliament is sitting at the Parliament House Events Calendar.

Phone
Phone calls to your representative's office (local electorate office or Parliament House office) can also be effective, particularly in terms of expressing an opinion on a topical issue.

Letter
Letters (and even faxes) remain relatively effective methods for contacting Parliamentarians and will likely generate a written response, though this can take weeks if not months in some cases.

When writing to Members of Parliament, please refer to this 'How to address senators and members' document (PDF, 252KB).

Email
Contacting Parliamentarians by email is a fast but not necessarily always effective method of contact. Many Parliamentary offices now get such high volumes of email that it is impossible for them to answer them all.

Email and Letter
An effective approach that will greatly increase your chances of receiving a response is to send both an email and a hard copy letter by post. If you are contacting a Minister, this is particularly recommended, and you should also send a copy to the corresponding Shadow Minister, ensuring that you note this in the address portion of your letter. Letting the Minister's office know that their opponent has also received a copy will ensure it gets appropriately prioritised. This also gives you the opportunity to approach the Shadow's office if you get no response from the Minister's office.

Tips For Contacting Members of Parliament

The following tips will help to make any contact you attempt more effective:

Include your name and address: politicians are likely to pay most attention to people who live in their electorate.

Keep it brief: no longer than about one page (or equivalent for email) and keep to one issue only. Be as concise as possible.

Use your own words, not someone else's: original letters are  more effective than a form letters/emails sent by dozens of people. Even if your writing skills are not the best, a letter written in your own words will carry much more weight than regurgitating what some else said.

State the topic clearly: include a subject line. If it is about a specific piece of legislation (an Act) or a proposed law (a Bill), state the full name of the Act or Bill in the subject line, or at least in the first paragraph.

Start with a clear statement of purpose: For example:

  • "I am writing to urge your support for / opposition to..."

  • "I am writing to ask you to support / oppose ..."

Focus on three important points: choose the three points that are most likely to be persuasive in gaining support for your position and flesh them out. This is more effective than attempting to address numerous points in a letter.

Ask for concrete action: for example, in relation to a proposed law (a Bill), ask them to raise the matter in their party room and seek to have their party oppose the Bill.

Ask for a response to your letter: while the response will usually be a form letter, written and authorised by their political party, you will know you have had an impact on their office. Party politics in Australia are such that few elected politicians are likely to tell you whether or not they personally share your views/position. However, a well-written letter can be instrumental in prompting them to take action behind the public scenes to inform and potentially change their political party's position.

Personalise your letter: when possible, include a personal story and/or information on how the issue affects you, your family, your business, or people around you. This can help your representative understand your position and can be very persuasive as he/she forms a position on an issue. The more personal your letter, the more impact it is likely to have.

Personalise your relationship: if you have ever voted for the representative, or contributed time or money to their election campaign, or have met them, etc, say so. The closer your representative feels to you, the more effective your letter is likely to be.

Be polite: be courteous, but don't be afraid to take a firm position. While your representative's job is to represent you, remember that politicians and their staff are people too. Threats, hostile remarks and rude/offensive language are among the fastest ways to alienate people who could otherwise decide to support your position in light of rational and reasoned argument. Avoid creating enemies.

Thanks is as important as criticism: Politicians and political parties need to be able to tell the 'other side' that they have been inundated with calls and letters supporting their position. Write thank you letters to politicians/parties that you know support your position. This will encourage them to stand firm on their position rather than backing down, which has often happened during the passage of proposed laws through Australian parliaments.

Keep the irritation factor low: avoid accusing/criticising the wrong politicians/party. Politicians, like anyone else, may become irritated when accused of holding views they do not. If you are not sure of the views of the person or political party you are contacting, either research the matter, ask them, or just inform them of your views and why they should support same.

 

Guide to Letter-Writing (PETA)

Often the pen—or computer—really is mightier than the sword. And you don’t have to be Shakespeare! Writing letters to newspapers, businesses, and legislators is an easy, effective way to help animals. Here’s how…

Letters to the Editor

You can get great exposure for animal rights issues by writing letters to the editors of newspapers or magazines. Not only will you be reaching thousands of readers, you will also be bringing your concerns to the attention of policymakers, who often refer to the opinion pages to learn what issues really matter to the public. It’s easier than you might think.

·       Read local papers and magazines to get ideas for letters. Watch for articles, ads, or letters that mention animals.

Examples:
Ads for rodeos, circuses, and fur stores
Articles about medical experiments on animals
Features about local humane groups or companion animal care

·       Letters don’t have to be rebuttals. Circus in town? Noticing a lot of strays? Let people know how you feel. You can also use the calendar for inspiration: At Easter, tell readers why they shouldn’t buy bunnies. On Mother’s Day, remind your community of the animals whose babies are taken from them on factory farms.

·       Write on good news as well as bad. Thank the paper for its coverage of an anti-fur protest or for running profiles of animals available for adoption at shelters.

·       Be brief! Sometimes one pithy paragraph is enough. Three hundred words is the maximum length that most papers or magazines will allow without cutting, and it’s better for you to do the cutting than for the editor to do it. The ideal length is 100 to 150.

·       Be sure to use correct grammar and spelling (use Spell Check), and preferably have your letter proofread by someone with good language skills.

·       Make the first sentence catchy to get the readers’ attention, and stick to one issue.

·       The letter should be timely. If you’re responding to an article, submit it no more than three days after the article was published. (The e-mail address for submitting letters to the editor can usually be found on the publication’s website under “Contact us.”)

·       Use information from PETA literature and our website to help you write your letters. Feel free to use and adapt any of our text.

·       Make sure you include your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address in your letter. Many newspapers verify authorship before printing letters.

·       Don’t just send letters to the biggest paper in town. The smaller the paper, the better the chances of getting your letter printed. Small weekly papers can help you reach hundreds or even thousands of people.

·       Is there an issue that you feel strongly or are especially knowledgeable about? Offer to write an opinion piece for the local paper. These are longer articles of 500 to 800 words that summarize an issue, develop an argument, and propose a solution. Send the article to the editorial page editor with a note explaining why this issue matters to readers and asking the paper to publish your piece.

·       You can also write (or call) television and radio stations to protest the glorification of cruelty to animals or to compliment them on programs that promote animal rights. For example, after NBC’s Today aired a show explaining how to kill lobsters, it reported that it had received more concerned mail about that segment than any other.

·       Don’t have time to write a letter? Post a quick comment online in response to blogs, newspaper and magazine articles, and TV news stories. In addition to reaching people reading online, publications sometimes print comments and tweets as letters to the editor.

Some Tips on Style

·       Increase your credibility by mentioning anything that makes you especially qualified to write on a topic. For instance, “As a nutritionist, I know that vegan eating is healthy,” or “As a mother,” or “As a former fur-wearer,” or “As a cancer survivor,” etc.

·       Try to tell readers something they’re not likely to know (such as how chickens are exploited for eggs) and suggest ways to take action (such as to stop buying eggs).

·       Keep personal grudges and name-calling out of letters; they’ll hurt your credibility.

·       Don’t give lip service to anti-animal arguments. Speak affirmatively.

Example: “It’s not true that vegans are weaklings.”
Better: “Vegans are healthier and slimmer and live years longer than meat-eaters.”

·       Avoid self-righteous language and exaggeration. Readers may dismiss arguments if they feel that they are being preached to or if the author sounds hysterical.

Example: “Only a heartless sadist could continue to eat animals when any fool knows that animals’ lives are snuffed out in screaming agony for the satisfaction of people who can’t be bothered to take a moral stand.”
Better: “Most compassionate people would stop eating meat if they saw the miserable lives endured by animals raised for food.”

·       Don’t assume your audience knows the issues.

Example: “Don’t support the cruel veal industry.”
Better: “Calves who are raised for veal are tethered in small stalls and kept in complete darkness. Their mothers also endure sad fates, starting with the loss of their infants a few days after birth.”

·       Inclusive language helps your audience identify with you.

Example: “Eating meat is bad for your health.”
Better: “We know that eating meat is bad for our health.”

·       Use positive suggestions rather than negative commands.

Example: “Don’t go to the circus.”
Better: “Let’s take our families to non-animal circuses.”

·       Personalize your writing with anecdotes and visual images.

Example: “Steel-jaw traps can trap an animal by the face, leg, or stomach.”
Better: “Have you ever seen a yearling fox whose face was caught in a steel-jaw trap? I have, which is how I know that traps tear into animals’ flesh.”

·       Avoid speciesist language. Instead of referring to an animal with an inanimate pronoun (“it” or “which”), use “she” or “he” and “who.”

·       Avoid euphemisms (“negative reinforcement,” “culling the herd”); say what you really mean (“painful electric shocks,” “slaughtering deer”).

·       Criticize the cruelty, not the newspaper.

Example: “There is no excuse for your article promoting the circus.”
Better: “There is no excuse for the abuse that goes on in the circus.”

A Word About Form Letters

PETA doesn’t recommend the use of form letters to the editor—prewritten letters provided by an organization—because many newspapers demand exclusivity. In addition, if papers get the same letter from several different people or later see your letter in a different paper with someone else’s name on it, that can cast suspicion on all letters on animal rights topics and dissuade editors from printing them.

Use the information that many organizations provide, but personalize your letter to make it your own.

Letters to Businesses

Use your clout as a consumer to protest companies that exploit animals. Tell cosmetics manufacturers that you will purchase other brands until they stop testing on animals, or tell store managers that you won’t shop there until they stop carrying live animals—and explain why. If a business offers a fur coat as a prize, explain why you object to wearing fur and ask the sponsor to offer a prize that does not cause animal suffering, such as a trip or jewelry.

Letters to Legislators

While everyone is good at complaining about politics to their friends, too few citizens express their opinions to those who can do something about it: legislators. Constituent input really does make a difference.

The governor of Virginia vetoed a bill putting a bounty on coyotes because he received so much mail against it.

According to former member of Congress Billy Evans (D-Ga.), “Legislators estimate that 10 letters from constituents represent the concerns of 10,000 citizens. Anybody who will take the time to write is voicing the fears and desires of thousands more.”

If that’s not enough to convince you, ask yourself this: If you don’t communicate with the officials representing you, who will? While you’re complaining to your friends about gruesome animal experiments, someone who disagrees with you is communicating with your representatives.

You’re probably not going to singlehandedly persuade your legislators to outlaw the fur trade. But many legislators share your objectives and just need to be convinced that there is sufficient public support before putting their necks on the line. The Advocacy Institute explains: “When votes are secured or changed, it’s most likely the aroused constituent-activists—the grassroots—who can claim the credit.”

Here’s How to Make Your Voice Count:

·       Find out who your federal and state representatives are.

·       Identify yourself as a concerned citizen, not as a member of an organization; legislators want to get feedback from their constituents, not lobbyists.

·       Keep letters and e-mails brief—no more than one page. If you’re writing about a specific bill, mention in the first paragraph the bill’s name (and number if you know it) and whether you support or oppose it. Include reasons and supporting data in the next paragraph or two. Conclude by asking for a response.

·       Focus on a specific topic. Don’t ask the legislator just to “support animal rights bills.” Very few legislators vote in favor of all animal protection bills, because different issues are at stake with each one.

·       Be polite and concise. Keep everything relevant to the bill or issue in question. Never be threatening or insulting. Remember, each letter pertaining to a particular piece of legislation is usually counted as a “yes” or “no.”

Don’t get overwhelmed by the project. Just get those letters and e-mails written!

As few as 10 letters on any one topic can sway a legislator’s vote. Several hours of letter-writing every month can make a big impact. And don’t be discouraged if you receive unfavorable responses: The more we communicate with public officials, the sooner they’ll change their positions.

Remember:

Right now, chicks’ beaks are being burned off in factory farms.
Right now, raccoons are chewing off their paws to escape from steel-jaw traps.
Right now, millions of rabbits, mice, and other animals are being abused in laboratories.
Right now, animals in circuses are being beaten backstage.
So, write now!