Posts Tagged ‘democracy Australia’

Australia day 26/1, what are we celebrating?

August 28, 2017

Australia day, what does it celebrate.

Before 1770 – Aboriginal peoples had been living for more than 40 000 years on the continent we now know as Australia. At least 1600 generations of these peoples had lived and died here.

Europeans from the thirteenth century became interested in details from Asia about this land to the south. From the sixteenth century, European cartographers and navigators gave the continent various names, including Terra Australis (Southern Land) and New Holland.

1770 – Captain James Cook raised the Union Jack on what is now called Possession Island on 22 August to claim the eastern half of the continent as New South Wales for Great Britain.

1788 – Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain, and the first Governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January and raised the Union Jack to signal the beginning of the colony.

Captain Arthur Phillip, was instructed to “live in amity and kindness” with Indigenous Australians

Note; Phillip went on toignore the Kings mandate that he negotiate for use of the Land, as did Cook under the letters patient.

1788 – The Australian frontier wars began, they were a series of conflicts that were fought between Indigenous Australians and British settlers, with an estimated 30 to 30,000 aboriginal people being killed, these battles continued until around 1934.

1804 – Early almanacs and calendars and the Sydney Gazette began referring to 26 January as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In Sydney, celebratory drinking, and later anniversary dinners became customary, especially among emancipists.

1818 – Governor Macquarie acknowledged the day officially as a public holiday in NSW on the thirtieth anniversary. The previous year he accepted the recommendation of Captain Matthew Flinders, circumnavigator of the continent, that it be called Australia.

*1837;  Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, planned something for everyone, or almost everyone. When questioned about what was being planned for the Aborigines, Parkes retorted, ‘And remind them that we have robbed them?

1838 – Proclamation of an annual public holiday for 26 January marked the Jubilee of the British occupation in New South Wales. This was the second year of the anniversary’s celebratory Sydney Regatta.

1838 – Aboriginal people started to morn the 26th of January

1871 – The Australian Natives’ Association, formed as a friendly society to provide medical, sickness and funeral benefits to the native-born of European descent, became a keen advocate from the 1880s of federation of the Australian colonies within the British Empire, and of a national holiday on 26 January.

1888 – Representatives from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and New Zealand joined NSW leaders in Sydney to celebrate the Centenary. What had begun as a NSW anniversary was becoming an Australian one. The day was known as Anniversary or Foundation Day.

1901 – The Australian colonies federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia. The Union Jack continued as the national flag, taking precedence over the Australian red and blue shipping ensigns gazetted in 1903.

Federation became entrenched on the 9th of May 1901 was the first day Parliament of the commonwealth sat. Schools were still celebrated federation day under the British flag.

Melbourne was the interim federal capital. The Australian Capital Territory was created out of New South Wales in 1908, the federal capital named Canberra in 1913, and the Parliament House opened there in 1927.

1911 – Empire day was earmarked as the first Australia day, May 24.

1915 – July 30th was called “Australia Day” to help raise money for Aussie troops.

1930 – The Australian Natives’ Association in Victoria began a campaign to have 26 January celebrated throughout Australia as Australia Day on a Monday, making a long weekend. The Victorian government agreed with the proposal in 1931, the other states and territories following by 1935.

1936 – Aboriginal people labelled 26th of January “Day of mourning”

1938 – While state premiers celebrated the Sesquicentenary together in Sydney, Aboriginal leaders met there for a Day of Mourning to protest at their mistreatment by white Australians and to seek full citizen rights.

1946 – The Australian Natives’ Association prompted the formation in Melbourne of an Australia Day Celebrations Committee (later known as the Australia Day Council) to educate the public about the significance of Australia Day. Similar bodies emerged in the other states, which in rotation, acted as the Federal Australia Day Council.

1948 – The Nationality and Citizenship Act created a symbolic Australian citizenship. Australians remained British subjects.

1954 – The Australian blue ensign was designated the Australian national flag and given precedence over the Union Jack. The Australian red ensign was retained as the commercial shipping ensign.

1960 – The first Australian of the Year was appointed: Sir Macfarlane Burnet, a medical scientist. Other annual awards followed: Young Australian of the Year, 1979; Senior Australian of the Year, 1999, and Australia’s Local Hero, 2003.

1972 – Tent embassy was established by Aborigine elders, opposing the date chosen for Australia day.

1979 – The Commonwealth government established a National Australia Day Committee in Canberra to make future celebrations ‘truly national and Australia-wide’. It took over the coordinating role of the Federal Australia Day Council. In 1984 it became the National Australia Day Council, based in Sydney, with a stronger emphasis on sponsorship. Incorporation as a public company followed in 1990.

1984 – Australians ceased to be British subjects. Advance Australia Fair replaced God Save the Queen as the national anthem.

*1988 – Sydney continued to be the centre of Australia Day spectacle and ceremony. The states and territories agreed to celebrate Australia Day in 1988 on 26 January, rather than with a long weekend.

Aborigines renamed Australia Day, ‘Invasion Day’. The Bondi Pavilion protest concert foreshadowed the Survival Day Concerts from 1992.

1994 – Celebrating Australia Day on 26 January became established. The Australian of the Year Award presentations began alternating between Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

2001 – Centenary of federation. The National Australia Day Council’s national office had returned to Canberra the previous year. In 2001 the Council transferred from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts to that of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Australians’ growing familiarity with the Australia Day holiday led the Council to focus on shaping their awareness of its significance and meaning.

2004 – The presentation of Australia Day awards — the focus of Australia Day — became fixed in Canberra.

The Australian frontier wars were a series of conflicts that were fought between Indigenous Australians and mainly British settlers that spanned a total of 146 years. The first fighting took place several months after the landing of the First Fleet in January 1788 and the last clashes occurred as late as 1934

To summarise, New South Wales — Sydney especially — has long celebrated 26 January to mark the beginning of British occupation of Australia. Victoria and the other Australian states and territories, persuaded by the Australian Natives’ Association, came to accept Australia Day by 1935, celebrating it together with a long weekend. Since 1979, federal government promotion of an Australia Day that was less British and more Australian gave the day a higher profile in the hope of unifying Australia’s increasingly diverse population. The long weekend gave way to the day itself in 1994, and ten years later Canberra displaced Sydney as the day’s focal point.

Dates for Australia day have been numerous, 9th of May is the day we became federated, NSW had 26th of January as their special day, other states celebrated their dates coinciding with settlement as British colonies.

The Australian name and flag were created long after Phillip landed in NSW and proclaimed it as a British colony.

May 24th, May 9th, July 30th have all been called Australia day at different times in Australia’s history.

 

However, Aboriginal Australians have continued to feel excluded from what has long been a British pioneering settler celebration, symbolised by the raising of the Union Jack and later, on another date, the Australian flag which bears the British flag. Debate over the date and nature of Australia Day continues as the National Australia Day Council seeks to meet the challenge of making 26 January a day all Australians can accept and enjoy.

I am uncertain Phillips landing and proclamation as a British colony is the right date, considering it is such a sad one for the Aboriginal people.

You can add to this brief overview of history if you like or use it to research an ideal day to celebrate, but for me, it best be a date that genuinely celebrates Australia as a nation, so I would say May 9th, but each to their own.

The date should be able to be celebrated by all Australians, including the original people of this land.

Mark Aldridge

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The Theft of Democracy by the honorable

August 24, 2017

Nominating to be a member of Parliament is an important issue, every important.

Most members are either lawyers, or have a legal team, and each wish to be called honourable.

So, when they fill in their nomination forms, to lie is unacceptable, illegal and immoral.

If elected on an invalid nomination, their election is invalid, that is the law, the highest law in this country.

Everything they have done from that moment on is invalid, unlawful and illegal.

Every vote, every preference, and ever act, including receiving income they are not entitled to, is invalid, there for illegal.

Now each of us as citizens get held to account for the lightest breach of the law, Parliament are meant to lead by example, considering they write laws.

How many ex MP are now enjoying life time pensions, that were never validly elected?

How many have introduced or voted on legislation, that ought not have been elected?

How many MP’s helped form a government, that had no right to be elected?

Why were these same laws applied to minor party or Independent candidates, to invalidate their election to parliament, yet now they are being applied to major players, the importance of adhering the law does not matter?

Politicians know what they are doing, they side step the laws on a regular basis, they play games with democracy, help rig elections, undermine our freedoms, with the sole intention of winning at any cost, I for one am sick of such actions.

There needs to be an independent investigation into every present and past member, and the law used to hold each one to account.

For god’s sake, if any one of us broke our highest laws, we would be.

 

Mark Aldridge

Same Sex Marriage, who decides?

August 13, 2017

IF YOU’RE over the idea of reading yet another blog on marriage equality, I can emphasize with you.

 

 

Let’s be honest, debates like this make me want to turn of the news, and retreat into my sanctuary where the cynicism of modern-day politics does not exist.

If it was a brief informed discussion, or a simple democratic process, I would be more than happy, as always to consider what my 2 cents would be worth.

Marriage is a simple word, for so long it described the union of a man and a woman, parliament defined it, as is their power under the constitution, and they defined it in line with the Dictionary definition.

I have yet to have any of my gay friend’s demand marriage, I do remember the fight for social inclusion, and to have the same equity at law as those who held a government certificate (Marriage).

When this debate started, when was that now, a decade ago now? I always wondered if another word could be chosen, rather than marriage, something to adorn the top of their government certificate, that shows their commitment to each other.

Seems my idea was less than favorable, but it was simply my mind trying to find a way to end this debate and move on to the more important social issues we all face, regardless of our choice of partner.

Before you accuse me of a lack of compassion, may I argue my case?

I love my partner, she loves me, well I am pretty sure she still does, a government endorsed certificate does not define our love what so ever, are we married, yes we are. Why did we get married, hmmm that would be an interesting debate, was it to prove a commitment, a legal contract, I might get back to you on that 😊

I see posters that say “love is love” or I want my right! They are both right, Love is Love, even with out a government endorsement, and rights, well we all are suffering a lack of defined protections, regardless of our choice of partner.

Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones tweeted: “Re Gay Marriage. Love is a very elusive thing. If 2 people find love we shouldn’t be making judgments about it or getting in the way.”

Who is getting in the way of love, who is judging others, are those opposed homophobic?

Let’s get this debate back on track; “The only ones to blame are our elected representatives”, they represent electorates, if they don’t know what their electorate wants, they are in the wrong job. Parliament is empowered by the Constitution to define Marriage.

Fact is parliament have been doing as they please for years, so our will means little to them, and an expansive poll will do little to push them either way.

It is not as if they are not aware of the topic, it is not as if they cant simply draw up the changes and vote on them, like any other legislative redefining, they do it every day.

The fact is the very people you chose to represent you, are not, they are representing political parties, vested interests, so this debate simply exposes the flaws in our democratic process, flaws you already knew existed.

There is no need to waste 120 to 150 million asking the people, when the outcome will be wishy washy, dodgy and non-binding.

If any representative is unsure, let them poll their electorates, and if their parties won’t let them vote on legislative change, let them declare to their electorate where they stand, we can all do the maths can’t we.

There are those in the LGBTI community that are already far more vulnerable to anxiety and depression (they’re also up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide) as a direct result of the past decades they have fought for acceptance alone.

The last thing they need is a huge national debate that will achieve nothing, what we all need is educated discussion with our representatives, and to empower their ability to achieve our will, everything else is divisional and a detraction.

Within hours of the government’s commitment to a plebiscite, former prime minister Tony Abbott was telling the nation: “If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote ‘no’, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote ‘no’ because voting ‘no’ will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

Imagine lobbying for the ability to marry, and hearing one of the nation’s most prominent citizens dismissing the fight to end your sense of injustice and frustration as “political correctness”.

The government’s position is demeaning and disrespectful to all of us, the decision to conduct a plebiscite is a knee jerk reaction to cover up for the real inadequacies of our democratic process.

Yes, there are many other critical issues demanding the nation’s attention, and if we polled the people, SSM would not make the top of the list, but if a section of Australian society demand equity on their terms, like all social issues, they deserve to get a fair hearing and a timely decision.

For me personally, my love does not need government endorsement, my rights do, so lets all unite and fight for defined civil and human rights through a “Bill of Rights”, and let the Gay community be included in its definition.

Mark Aldridge.

HOW TO RE RUN THE 2016 FEDERAL ELECTION, TO ENSURE DEMOCRACY IS SERVED

July 15, 2016

HOW TO RE RUN THE 2016 FEDERAL ELECTION.

voting

Mark Aldridge for “Electoral Commissioner” 🙂

 

  1. ENSURE ELECTORAL ROLLS ARE ACCURATE (SPOT CHECKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY)
  2. MAKE THE ROLLS ELECTRONIC, (TO OVERCOME MULTIPLE VOTERS)
  3. ENSURE VOTERS HAVE A BOOKLET DELIVERED, WHICH INCLUDES HOW TO VOTE, INCLUDES SAMPLE BALLOT PAPERS AND A LIST OF CANDIDATES WITH BRIEF DETAILS AND CONTACT INFORMATION. (TO ENSURE VOTERS CAN CAST AN INFORMED VOTE) (Booklets like this were on offer up until a few years ago, and are used in council elections)
  4. MAKE ALL VOTES OPTIONAL PREFERENTIAL.
  5. VOTERS TO PRESENT ID BEFORE THEY CAN VOTE.
  6. SUPPLY PAPER BALLOTS WITH PERMANENT MARKERS, ALL MISTAKES TO BE ISSUED A REPLACEMENT BALLOT PAPER, WITH ALL SPOILED BALLOTS TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR.
  7. DENY ACCESS TO THE ELECTION PROCESS TO ALL CANDIDATES AND THEIR PARTIES, INCLUDING POSTAL APPLICATIONS & MAIL INTERCEPTION.
  8. ALLOW ALL AEC WORKERS TO COME FORWARD, SHOULD THEY SEE ANYTHING UNTOWARD.
  9. HAVE LIVE STREAM CAMERA IN EVERY POLLING BOOTH AND DURING SCRUTINEERING.
  10. MAKE IT LAW, THAT IF THE MEDIA ARE TO PUBLISH AN OVERVIEW OF ANY ELECTORATE, THEY “MUST” INCLUDE EVERY CANDIDATES NAME AS A MINIMUM REQUIREMENT.
  11. CHANGE THE COUNTING OF VOTES TO ENSURE THOSE ELECTED HAVE THE MOST SUPPORT, BY ABOLISHING THE TWO PARTY COUNTING SYSTEM.
  12. RE-OPEN ALL THE POLLING BOOTHS AND RESTORE ALL MOBILE SERVICES, WITH STREAMED VIDEO COVERAGE.
  13. EMPLOY PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES TO SECURE EVERY POLLING BOOTH FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION UNTIL THE FINALISATION OF THE COUNT.
  14. ENSURE EVERY CANDIDATE IS CAPABLE AT LAW OF BEING ELECTED.
  15. ENSURE ALL BALLOT PAPERS HAVE THE NAME OF THE CANDIDATE NEXT TO THEIR VOTING SQUARE, AND IF LOGOS ARE TO BE USED, ALL CANDIDATES CAN UTILIZE THEM.
  16. MAKE IT LAW THAT ALL FUTURE ELECTORAL LAW AMENDMENTS ARE MADE BY AN INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY, THROUGH A TRANSPARENT COMMUNITY BASED PROCESS.
  17. MAKE IT LAW THAT ANY MISSING BALLOT PAPERS THAT EXCEED ANY WINNING MARGIN, RESULTS IN A RE-ELECTION PROCESS FOR THAT ELECTORATE OR HOUSE.
  18. ANY CANDIDATE OR PARTY THAT MAKES AN ELECTORAL PROMISE MUST FOLLOW THROUGH TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY OR IS REMOVED FROM OFFICE, AND THE CANDIDATE THAT CAME SECOND IN THAT ELECTORATE TAKES THEIR PLACE.
  19. IF ANY VOTER ARRIVES TO VOTE AND CANNOT THROUGH ANY ISSUE RESULTING FROM A DEFICIENCY OF ANY KIND, THEY ARE PROVIDED WITH A CARD TO ALLOW THEM TO VOTE ON A FOLLOWING DATE.
  20. MINIMUM JAIL SENTANCES FOR ANY ELECTORAL CORRUPTION OR VOTE MANIPULATION.

Mark Aldridge

Makin candidate, Mark Aldridge, most in touch with his electorate.

June 30, 2016

Mark Aldridge Independent for Makin, is winning the grass roots support in his electorate, based on his representation on Social Media, and grass roots work in his electorate.

Mark 3

Marks recent media releases which paint a clear picture of where he stands on a variety of political topics, the very same topics. recent polls say are supported by the voters in his electorate.

“Protecting our Farmers and producers is one thing, but my position is the farms themselves are strategic assets, and ought not to be for sale to foreign interests” says Mark

Mr. Aldridge runs several farmers markets which service his electorate “Farm Direct” community markets, in Salisbury heights and Lights view, also spending years setting up and supporting other markets in the north, including his first major market in Parafield.

The markets are simply my attempt to bring change at a grass roots level, they were never set us as a political ploy, they are there to simply support my community and the local producers themselves.

“I grew up in the North, in Parafield Gardens, and now live in Penfield amongst the farmers, so uniting them both has been a tremendous success” says Mark

One of the great things about my advocacy work in the north is that I spend much of my time in the electorate chatting with the community, so I feel very connected to them. I believe this is why I have such great support and such a detailed understanding of their needs at a grass roots level.

When asked about recent media articles, Mark said “I have never been very popular with the media to be honest” they at times seem as out of touch with the people as the major party candidates. The election debate coverage so far between the supposed leaders, clearly shows they have no idea what change the public care even calling for.

Real jobs, securing our primary production sector, improved support for our pensioners and veterans are not on the agenda, in fact my opponents in Makin, are still calling for increased immigration and foreign aid, obviously little do they realise, the public do not agree.

The only issue my support is facing is a hostile media, who as usual, feel they have a right to dictate both the policy’s to be debated and restrict coverage to their favoured candidates.

“Makin voters should know me well enough by now to know what I stand for, sadly those that don’t will probably be swayed by media propaganda, rather than any open debate on the topics of concern. Even the Messenger press have refrained from letting their readers know who is running, which is very sad for local democracy”. Mark said.

Once the election is over, regardless of the outcome, I will still be here for the community and continue to work in their best interests, so losing an election only affects the resources I have to do my job. I will still be looking for ways to improve services and opportunities for the voters of Makin, long after the other candidates disappear for another few years.

 

Written by Mark Aldridge in the absence of any journos that are allowed to write about me J

Independent demands support and protection of our farming industry

June 29, 2016

The viability of Australia’s vegetable industry is still under threat from cheap imports, according to industry body AUSVEG.

IMG_8715

Figures show nationally the amount of land sown to vegetables decreased by 12,000 hectares last financial year, resulting in a $159 million drop in the value of the Australian vegetable industry.

In 2014-15 the amount of vegetable-growing operations dropped by 15 per cent.

“Australia does not need to import produce at the expense of our own production. In fact we should be growing to meet the demand of increased immigration, while migrations numbers remain so high” says Mark Aldridge, Independent candidate for Makin.

Mushroom production dropped 29 per cent, while capsicum and tomato production fell 12 per cent, which is why I have open producer markets, so stop the decline in local plantings, says Mark.

“During the 2014-15 financial year, it is purported there was a 7 per cent increase in foreign imports of vegetable produce, and that is this is alarming to the domestic industry”.

“Australian growers are having difficulties with is their competition against subsidised foreign imports, and the massive costs of running their farms in Australia ” he said.

Until we find a way to support and protect our growers, my market concept “Farm Direct” is an ideal platform to keep some of the smaller growers on the land, those who can’t afford the middle man s grab.

“Australian produce is some of the best in the world”, so how can it be viable to ship produce from the other side of the world, other than deficiencies in foreign trade deals.

Our government have been quick to step in to rescue big industry, so where is their support for our farmers and in fact my Market plan?

 

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin

PUPPY FARM & ANIMAL WELFARE REFORMS, Mark Aldridge Independent

June 21, 2016
PUPPY FARM & ANIMAL WELFARE REFORMS

My views thus far;                                                anim

It is important to note that while we debate the way forward, specifically with measures to address the breeding of dogs, the legislative framework proposed should also apply equally to the breeding of cats and any future companion animals.

I would recommend that state and territory governments include the breeding of cats in any legislative reforms.

I would recommend that responsibility for the administration and enforcement of these initiatives be shared between state and territory departments of local councils, and state and Territory divisions of the RSPCA, in the case of the RSPCA powers of litigation must include debate in relation to set prosecution, enforcement and procedural guidelines.

I note that a number of states are already engaging in legislative reforms that will give effect to many of the strategies proposed. It is important that such amendments are nationally consistent) to prevent regulatory “black holes” which may undermine efforts to address these concerns.

Traceability

The ability to trace the origin of puppies to their mothers and breeders is crucial for facilitating appropriate regulation and transparency in dog breeding activities.

It will provide local government with a cost-effective mechanism for auditing and monitoring breeders to ensure they are complying with their statutory obligations.

It will also give prospective dog owners the reassurance they are seeking to ensure they do not contribute to the perpetuation of unscrupulous puppy farming/breeding operations.

Registration of breeders

All people who wish to engage in breeding companion animals should be required to register as a dog breeder with their local council. The application of this requirement should be broad and apply to any person who wishes to keep more than one entire female regardless of whether that person has a stated intention to engage in breeding.

Different registration requirements can of course apply to individuals seeking to register two breeding dogs, as opposed to those seeking registration for the operation of a larger scale commercial breeding establishment, which may consist of 4 or more breeding dogs.

All registration details should be collated in a state-based breeder register maintained by the administering authority, in this case it may be best to have the data base managed by local councils.

Members of the public should be able to search the register to ensure the accuracy of the breeder registration number provided by a breeder.

State and territory animal management legislation should be amended to provide for these requirements and the associated registration procedure.

The legislation should make compliance with a prescribed breeding standard a condition of registration, with an accompanying regular inspections regime to verify compliance.
 
Microchipping

State and territory animal management legislation should provide for a requirement to microchip puppies before they reach say “12 weeks of age” and prior to their sale or transfer.

The legislation should also require the information recorded on the microchip database to include the microchip ID number for the animal’s mother, and the breeder’s registration number and details.

The process of recording such information should be prescribed in legislation and include requirements for the owner to provide evidence of the accuracy of the details to be recorded.

Such evidence may include the provision of a driver’s licence or other personal identification, and registration certificate for the breeder bitch for instance. The microchip database should be licensed and regulated by the responsible authority.

To enable effective monitoring and enforcement, microchip databases should have a mechanism for recognizing maximum numbers of puppies that can be recorded to any one breeding bitch or breeder registration number, to again ensure accountability.

For instance, if a breeder is registered as having two entire females, the maximum number of pups that can be linked to that breeder’s registration number within one year may be set at an educated quantity.

If the maximum number is exceeded this should be flagged in the microchip database and an automated notification sent to the relevant local government authority. A local government officer could then contact the breeder to establish the reason for exceeding the prescribed limit and conduct further investigation if necessary.
 
Disclosure of breeder registration number
 
The animal management legislation should also impose a requirement for the breeder registration number to be displayed at the point of sale and in all advertisements for a companion animal. This would enable a prospective buyer to search the relevant breeder register to ensure the breeder number is legitimate.
 
Breeder Standards

Each state and territory should adopt mandatory standards for the breeding of dogs under their animal welfare legislation. Compliance with the standards should also be made a condition of registration as a breeder. Breaching the standards could therefore attract punitive penalties under animal welfare legislation, and revocation of the breeder’s registration at law.

To ensure the welfare of breeding animals, the breeder standards should include the following key welfare standards. Breeder standards should be informed by the five freedoms and ensure the animals’ physiological, behavioral and social needs are met.

Exercise and socialization

Daily opportunities to exercise, play, explore and socialize are necessary to maintain the mental and physical health of animals. Exercise and socialization must be sufficient to meet the animals’ behavioral, physiological and social needs.

These same standards should also be applied to shelters and organisations like the RSPCA and AWL.

Animals must be provided with opportunities to socialize not only with their peers, but also humans in a secure environment on a daily basis. The exercise area must be an additional and separate area to the area where the animal is normally housed.

In addition, opportunities to exercise in a secure outdoor area with natural lighting must be provided daily.

Staff / animal ratios for breeders

The ratio of staff to animals must be sufficient to ensure that each individual animal’s physiological, behavioral and social needs are met and that a high standard of care is provided.

Animal shelters and pounds should offer similar practice models.

Housing

Housing must meet the physiological, behavioral and social needs of the breeding animals and their offspring. Housing facilities must be designed and maintained to provide a clean, comfortable and safe environment.

The housing space should be as large as possible. At a minimum, the housing area must provide sufficient space to allow animals to walk around freely without obstruction, and to sleep and eat away from areas where they defecate.

In addition, housing should be designed to make use of natural lighting and to provide animals with access to outdoor enclosures. Animals should be housed as appropriate for the individual animal, individually or in compatible groups.

Housing standards must cover aspects including temperature, ventilation, clean air, noise, light, spaces, drainage and security etc.

Animals in non-kill shelters MUST be allowed to be housed in larger enclosures that offer greater room to move, and ought to allow areas that are not concreted.
 
Breeding Management

Breeding animals must be physically healthy, free of disease and inherited disorders. Prior to using an animal for breeding, the breeder must consult with a registered veterinarian to determine whether the animal is suitable for breeding.

If deemed suitable, the breeder must develop an appropriate breeding management program for each individual breeding animal based on veterinary advice.

Breeding animals must have reached full physical development (maturity) prior to breeding based on veterinary advice.

Breeders must screen potential breeding animals under veterinary advice for health problems (inherited disorders, genetic defects and exaggerated physical features) and behavioural problems. If such problems are detected the animal should be excluded from breeding.

Breeding mates must not be closely related to each other.

Where an animal exhibits or produces offspring with an inherited disorder or characteristic that has been identified as compromising the animal’s quality of life, health or welfare, that animal should be excluded from breeding and should be de-sexed.

Any animal that does not meet with the requirements to breed, must be either provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility or re-homed to a suitable carer. These animals should not be euthanized unless it is deemed necessary and in the best interests of the animal by a veterinarian.

The breeder must not euthanasia/cull healthy offspring simply because they do not conform to a ‘breed standard’, to ensure compliance all births and deaths should be covered in a yearly report.
 
Veterinary and General Care

Veterinary care and general care (e.g. grooming, parasite control etc) must be provided as required to ensure the health and welfare of the animal, as found in present animal welfare legislation

All animals in shelters or breeding facilities must be checked every day and receive appropriate and sufficient food and water.

If an animal displays signs of illness or injury, veterinary care must be provided immediately. Euthanasia of all companion animals, must only be performed by a veterinarian.

Retirement and re-homing policy

Retired breeding animals, animals that are unable to breed or animals that are unsuitable for breeding, should be de-sexed and either provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility or re-homed to a suitable carer or re-homing facility.

Any unsold or returned animals must be provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility either permanently or until they can be re-homed to a suitable carer or re-homing facility.

Transfer/transport of animals

Animals must be transported safely, securely and comfortably. Transportation must be appropriate for the animals’ biological needs and must not compromise animal health or welfare.

Animals must be in good health and fit for the intended journey. The only exception to this requirement is when the animal is being transported to a veterinarian for treatment.

Transport containers should enable the animal to lie down flat, turn around, stand erect and stretch with clearance. They should be robust and escape-proof, sufficiently enclosed to provide a sense of security whilst allowing adequate ventilation, appropriate temperature and the ability to inspect the animal during the journey.

Transfer/transporting guidelines must be researched and apply to all carriage of animals.

Animals must be provided with sufficient food, water and rest before, during and after the journey, according to their biological needs.

The transporters/handlers must be trained and competent in the transport of companion animals to ensure the health and welfare of the animal. The transporter is responsible for the care of the animal

Interim Orders

It is not uncommon for defendants in animal management and welfare prosecutions to challenge enforcement action, and to appeal court decisions resulting in long and drawn-out legal proceedings.

I have also seen the court process dragged out by prosecution authorities (abuse of process) where there is financial gain in doing so, all prosecutions must meet a national set of procedural guidelines to ensure just and equitable use of the courts time.

When this occurs it is important that the welfare of any seized animals can be appropriately provided for while the matter is before the courts. Often in cases involving puppy farms the number of animals seized and the ongoing veterinary treatment and care required can result in the incursion of significant costs.

State and territory animal management and welfare legislation must provide mechanisms for the relevant prosecuting agency to apply for orders with respect to the ongoing ownership of the animals, the costs associated with the ongoing care of the animals, and prohibiting the defendant(s) from continuing to engage in the business of puppy farming while the matter is before the courts.

Any party that is found to abuse the court system as either a defendant or prosecutor ought to be responsible for all costs orders.

No animals seized should be killed or adopted out until ownership has been fully debated, the original owner should be able chose where they are housed and cover the costs until an outcome has been concluded.
 
Interim Ownership Orders

Most state animal welfare Acts already have provisions which allow inspectors to apply to a magistrate for an order that any seized animal(s) be forfeited (transfer of legal ownership) to the State while legal proceedings relating to those animals are still before the courts.

Presently these orders of forfeiture award the power to deal with the animal in any way fit, including destruction, changes need to me made to ensure the best services for the animals, until any legal proceedings are concluded.

In most cases, such an application will be decided “in the interests of the animal(s)” concerned. Equivalent provisions should also be inserted into animal management Acts to allow for such applications to be made following enforcement action taken by government departments for breaches of breeder licencing obligations, for instance “non-compliance with mandatory breeder standards”.

Orders against an animal’s owners ought to allow freedom of choice as to which authority looks after the animals during the court process, to ensure transparent cost and support factors.

Interim Prohibition Orders
 
It is not uncommon for unscrupulous breeders to continue engaging in the business of puppy farming while legal proceedings are still before the courts. This puts further animals at risk and places additional strain on the resources of enforcement agencies.

Should further enforcement action be required, Animal welfare and management legislation should provide for an application to be made to a magistrate for such defendants to be prohibited from engaging in puppy farming activities while legal proceedings against them are before the courts.

If the prosecuting agents case is found wanting, under current animal welfare legislation it is the minister who is responsible, in such cases the minister ought to find remedy in the courts against said authority.

Contracts between the minister, appointed inspectors or their employing agency’s must be available for public scrutiny.

Monitoring and Enforcement
 
In recent times there have been many issues with the RSPCA’s awarded powers of prosecution, which appear to have no procedural checks and balances, the RSPCA indeed have the Experience to police animal welfare legislation, but prosecution practices may be best left to Police services.
 
Monitoring and enforcement operations for any new legislative agenda, best be shared between local government animal management officers and state and territory RSPCA inspectors.

A targeted inspections regime that consists of both proactive routine (yet unannounced) inspections, and a reactive inspections strategy that responds to identified data discrepancies and complaints from the general public, should be developed between the relevant government authorities who are empowered to do so by animal welfare legislation reforms.

Prosecutions must be kept in line with community expectations and best practice; this would be best achieved by the development of a nationwide set of Compliance Prosecution and Enforcement Policies.

Said guidelines could be in line with the present Department of Agriculture policy in WA, to ensure openness and transparency, consistency and public interest criteria, and any contractual agreements between government and corporate entity’s empowered by animal welfare legislation, Must be made public as should any  Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution policy.

Intent;
 
In recent years while doing an over view of current animal welfare legislation in most states, it has become relevant to debate animal abuse cases in relation to intention, presently animal welfare legislation in terms of recent litigation, uses wording that is open to misrepresentation and misunderstanding..

Failure to mitigate harm, has been a charge laid on carers, where the animal in question came into their care with existing medical or behavioral conditions, the lack of the inclusion of the intention has seen many carers face unwarranted charges, creating even more reason for improved prosecution guidelines.

Support services, improved education and animal welfare orders are a much more pro-active approach to ensure the best interests of the animals and their carers is paramount.

Overview;
 
Support for those who care for or rescue companion animals or in fact native animals is very limited, as are their protections.

Improved and understandable regulatory reforms are long overdue, to ensure animal welfare standards are kept up with community expectations across the board.

QUESTIONS ALSO RAISED; 
 
The ability of people to purchase entire animals, I suggest an application for a permit through the regulatory authority.
 
Working dogs and animals used in rural locations.
 
Kill rates in shelters and the use of Behavioral issues to excuse kill rates.
 
Genuine financial reporting of government funded charity’s and rescue groups.
 
The need for an ombudsman to address complaints against entities and inspectors empowered under animal welfare legislation

We have a long way to come to bring animal welfare protections up to meet the expectations of the community at large. Educated debate is the only way forward, which is best served by community forums with a view to legislative reform.

I am only an amateur, but every little step in the right direction is a good step.

Mark Aldridge  Independent Candidate for Makin
 
Community advocate & animal and civil rights lobbyist 

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

June 7, 2016

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

democracy 1

 

The Australian electoral commission for the past 2 decades has endured funding cuts, where one would hope we would expect increased funding in relation to secure democracy in this country.

Where once every Australian home received a now to vote guide in the mail, to ensure they knew how to vote, what their voting rights were, where the polling booths were, and how to make applications, all we receive now is propaganda.

Even worse, political parties are writing electoral law, even though they have the most to gain from structural biases, they are now even handling electoral applications, like postal ballot applications and the like.

Return addresses for postal ballot applications are now the head offices of political parties, in fact the political parties are now even printing electoral material, something most voters would never support and undermines the security of the ballot.

For those voters confused by new laws, or those who are either first time voters or new to this country, a call to the AEC to have questions answered are now being answered by Centrelink workers whose recent crash course in electoral law is resulting in misinformation.

Australia still embraces pencils and cardboard boxes, yet continue to claim to be one of the best democracy’s on the planet, and maybe we once were.

It is interesting to note here, that council elections are now afforded more robust electoral practices, the electorate receive a how to vote guide, a list of the candidates and in some areas, a basic overview of what the candidates stand for, so why are state and federal elections not considered worthy of these reforms?

Voting in a democracy is meant to be all about the Free will of an informed electorate, and the return of an election guide could ensure that happens.

Voters need to know how to vote, where to vote and know who the candidates are, I personally would toss in the freedom to only preference those they prefer, and only having to vote if they are inspired to, but I doubt parliament will support too much freedom.

In recent years election facts are clear that the system is failing, with missing ballot papers on the rise as are invalid votes, and one would hope that every vote was more important than that.

When winning margins can be a handful of votes, one would expect we ought to ensure every vote is treasured and protected.

I have been in and out of the court of disputed returns for 20 years fighting for electoral reform that empowers this nation’s voters. Simply because I truly believe we can repair the divide between the people and their representatives, by simply ensuring a fair and transparent system of democratic practice.

Bring back the how to vote guide, because democracy is the corner stone of society, and deserves more than the current discount system we are forced to endure.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin & community advocate.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

Independent candidate wants direct democracy phone app

June 6, 2016

“Handing Democracy back to the People”

Let every elector in Makin decide issues of importance, by utilising latest technology.

Let all the federal candidates consider change

Independent candidate Mark Aldridge running for the seat of Makin is determined to hand democracy back to the people.

Mark has fought for over a decade to help restore the rights and freedoms of voters, and working with other informed Independents has come up with a bold plan to give constituents their own voice in the parliamentary decisions.

Mr Aldridge said our elected representatives should represent we the people, not dictate to us.

If elected, he will work with experts to develop a mobile phone app that will let residents have their say directly on important issues and legislative reform.

“The little people need to take the power back,” Mr Aldridge said.

“Through this use of technology, I hope to engage the public and help make the residents of Makin the most politically involved electorate in Australia, and set an example for every other elected Member of Parliament to follow, if they dare to actually support real democracy.”

The idea would be to study any reform I am asked to vote on, send out an overview, and let the people decide what their will is, and I will present that to parliament.

For too long now, parliament has taken the position that we don’t understand, and in some cases we need not know, and that is not what democracy is meant to be about.

I will do my best to present both sides of any debate, offer my opinion and let the electorate decide, said Mark.

Obviously being elected by my electorate to represent them provides me with a mandate to do so, but given the fact only a percentage will have elected me, I see good reason to include them all when it comes to being their voice.

Most people these days are savvy when it comes to computer and mobile phone technology, so I believe the idea will be well received.

Mark Aldridge

 

Mark 3

New voting laws for the 2016 election “The Truth”

May 15, 2016

I have lobbied for years to protect, reform and secure your voting rights, here is an overview of the new laws based on my understanding of the new laws.

 

The following are instructions on how to vote in the Senate from the AEC’s web page, similar instructions are shown on the AEC’s television advertising. The trouble is that what they are saying is the law, doesn’t compare with the legislation, or is the enacted legislation wrong?

What you need to know

 

To vote for Senators in your state or territory at the 2016 federal election, you must fill in your ballot paper in the order of your choice. You can do this by voting either above the line or below the line, as had been the case for many years, changes now say;

 

Voting above the line

 

If you vote above the line, you must number at least six boxes from 1 to 6 is what you are being told, but from what I read, you can vote simply 1, or 1 to 6 or any number you want in any order. If you make a mistake your voting will be valid up until that mistake is made. In other words if by accident you vote 1,2, 3, 5, it is valid up to and including 3.

ballot paper upper house

 

ballot paper uppper hpuse 2

 

 

By voting above the line, your preferences will be distributed in the order that the candidates appear below the line for the party or group you have chosen. Your preferences will first be distributed to the candidates in the party or group of your first choice, then to candidates in the party or group of your second choice and so on, until all your preferences have been distributed.

 

So if you mark a box with a 1, you vote counts for all the candidates under that box, candidates for that party or independent group, then onto the next group and so on.

 

If you vote 1 in one box only, your vote will count for that groups candidates only, if they are not elected, your vote finishes there.

 

(This is because those that write the laws, are well aware people wont understand them, and need to be able to count their vote where possible)

 

Voting below the line

 

If you vote below the line, you must number at least twelve boxes from 1 to 12, you are being told, you can vote the same as above the line, you can vote in order for as many or as few as you prefer.  By voting below the line your preferences will be distributed to the individual candidates as numbered on your ballot paper, in the order of your choice.

 

House of Representatives

 

The electoral changes were all about a double dissolution, not democratic reform, so the lower house (House of reps) has not changed, but similar rules apply, you are told to make every box in order of your preference, yet if you vote 1 in 1 box only, your vote will be counted for all the candidates as chosen by the candidate of that box (full preferential voting) there are also sections of the law that allow the Electoral Commission to guess your intention.

 

You can check the AEC’s web page instructions here: http://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/How_to_vote/files/senate-how-to-vote-2016-large%20print.pdf

 

You can compare the legislation here:

 

COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2016 c

 

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/ems/r5626_ems_955e56de-c7ba-4a4a-8ca1-01ab948694f5/upload_pdf/Revised%20EM_%20Commonwealth%20Electoral%20Amendment%20Bill%202016.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

 

So voting is getting very confusing, simply because those that write the laws have the most to gain from structural biases, they write the law to empower themselves not we the people, so until this system is replaced by a truly independent board in respect to voting reform, our ability to express our genuine will, will continue to be diminished.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin

“Protecting the power of your vote”