by Meryl Dorey
I just got off the phone with the Secretariat of the Senate Commitee that is considering submissions on the No Jab, No Pay legislation. For those who have not been aware of what is happening with this, you can click here and here to read more.
The Secretariat told me some very important information so whether you have already sent in your submission or you were planning on doing so today, you MUST read this first because today is the deadline for all submissions and your voice counts! Submissions have to be received by 5 PM AEST – there is a 1 hour grace period but no more.
1- If you have not included your contact details (Name, Address, Phone number), your submission will not be accepted. Please note – it has been brought to my attention that submissions made via the committee’s web form will always collect this information so only if you mailed, emailed or FAXed your forms will this be a concern.
2- If your submission does not touch on the Bill at all, your submission will be taken as correspondence and will not be counted. If you say somewhere either in the body of your submission or, should you be sending it as email, in the introduction, that this is your submission, then it will be considered as a submission. One wording that I’ve seen on several submissions is: Attached please find my submission to the Senate Enquiry on the abovementioned Amendment Bill.” This is good wording should you wish to ‘borrow’ it.
3 – I was told that there were so many submissions that it is possible they may not all be dealt with prior to the time that the Committee needs to report back to the Senate on the 9th of November. This is not acceptable! I just received information that over 1,000 submissions have been counted so far and it is expected that over 2,000 will have been received by the deadline this afternoon. I’m not sure if this is a record for any public inquiry by the Senate but it’s got to be close. It is so obvious that even Blind Freddy can see it, that this issue deserves time and serious consideration – not lip service and rushed decisions.
4- I was told that no promises will be made, but the Committee is considering holding a public hearing. We MUST put pressure on them to do this. We are voiceless without the opportunity to ask and answer questions in person as well as in writing.
Here is what I am asking everyone to do and it is vital that you do the first part today – the second can wait until next week if you’re pressed for time:
1- Check your submissions. If you feel that there is ANY chance that it will not be acceptable as a submission, edite it, add the wording about this being a submission, and resubmit it. Everyone one of us needs to be counted. Remember to do this before 6 PM this afternoon AEST.
2- Send an email to the Committee Secretariat demanding that they ask for an extension of time to properly consider the information they have received and also, that a public hearing be held to allow us to air our views before the senators. You can send this correspondence to the following email address – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, with ALL submissions and correspondence, include your full name, address and phone contact. You can certainly ask them to withhold this information when they publish your submission on the website and they will do so but they won’t accept submissions without these details.
One last thing, I have tried to send an acknowledgement to everyone who has forwarded their submissions to me but I have been sick over this last week and was unable to do so. Please take it as read that I LOVE what you are doing, appreciate each and every one of you and will try very hard to get back to you over the coming days. Keep copying me in on your submissions – I get a little thrill every time I read one 🙂