Tomorrow: REMINDER: Senator Ludlam Climate Action Event, Wed 8 Dec.

Dear friend,

All welcome to attend – RSVP to eloise.dortch

Please circulate to your networks (flyers attached: please display where feasible).

**Groups working on climate-related issues have an opportunity to display their petitions, flyers and posters and other materials in the foyer to the auditorium, from 5pm, on trestle tables that will be provided. If your group would like to make use of this opportunity, it is essential that you call 9335 7477 to register your group’s interest.**

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)

Eloise Dortch

Office of Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam

Email: eloise.dortch

For Senator Ludlam:

Web: www.scottludlam.org.au

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SenatorLudlam

Twitter: @senatorludlam

<<Climate event flier (Dec 2010).pdf>>

<<climate invite (4 up).pdf>>

Climate event flier (Dec 2010).pdf

climate invite (4 up).pdf

Perth transport crisis calls for Federal assistance (corrected)

Perth transport crisis calls for Federal assistance

Media Release – Tuesday November 30, 2010-11-30

West Australian Senator Scott Ludlam has called on state and federal
authorities to work together on introducing a city-wide light rail
system to alleviate the pressure on Perth’s roads.

The Greens Senator said yesterday morning’s traffic chaos, caused by a
single accident involving truck carrying a forklift, exposed the
inadequacy of transport infrastructure in Perth.

"For an incident at 5.15am to cause widespread congestion until 10am,
spreading out to Woodvale, Woodlands, Tuart Hill and Bayswater, is
extraordinary but not entirely unexpected," he said. "To put it simply,
we have more cars on the road than we need. The solution is a
comprehensive public-transport reform program including light rail."

Light rail is the modern version of the trams that served Perth until
1958.

"The fact that the WA transport minister Simon O’Brien did not comment
yesterday on the issue of investment in public transport in Western
Australia says more than any statement from him would have," said
Senator Ludlam. "If the West Australian government is serious about
alleviating traffic on our roads, they will expand our public transport
system."

Senator Ludlam, the Greens public transport spokesperson, spearheaded
the party’s light rail policy at the Federal Election.

"We have a comprehensive light rail plan prepare for Perth and for
regional centres throughout Western Australia," he said. "A single
electric railcar can accommodate 60 people including space for bikes and
wheelchairs. You can imagine the pressure a comprehensive light rail
system would take off the roads. The Federal and State government needs
to work together to make it happen."

Perth Radio covers issues for people with a disability – Interview with Hon Simon O’Brien- Tonight at EthnicAbility

95.3 6EBA FM

The Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC) presents ‘EthnicAbility’:

A program on disability and Ethnicity

Tonight on ‘EthnicAbility’, 29th November 2010, the Hon Simon O’Brien, Minister for Transport; and Disability Services, joins us. As this week is Disability Awareness Week, Minister O’Brien will discuss ‘Count Me In’, the new Disability Strategy. How will this strategy impact on us, particularly those of us who are from CALD backgrounds? Find out the answers to this question … tonight on ‘EthnicAbility’.

Tune in and listen!

every Monday evening from 7:30–8:00 pm (WA time) on 95.3 6EBA FM.

Or listen live on the internet at www.6eba.com.au and click on ‘Listen now’.

And …. If you still miss EthnicAbility, you can download recent past programs from www.edac.org.au, Click on “Radio Program” and select the show you want to listen to.

Previous Programs

Previous programs on ‘EthnicAbility’ available for download from EDAC’s website are:

Sponsorship

If you would like to be a sponsor of ‘EthnicAbility’, contact Zel on (08) 9388 7455. By sponsoring ‘EthnicAbility’, you will be helping to disclose issues that impact on the lives of ethnic people with disability, their family, community and service providers.

About EthnicAbility

EthnicAbility explores issues affecting people with a disability from an ethnic background. In so doing, we will be speaking to people with a disability from an ethnic background themselves, their parents/family, friends, community members and service providers. And we may

Even talk to you!

So don’t forget to switch on to 95.3 6EBA FM every Monday evening at 7:30 pm(WA time)

For further information, contact EDAC on (08) 9388 7455 or send an email to us at ethnicability.

Zel Iscel
EthnicAbility Coordinator
Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC)

Tel: 9388 7455
Web: www.edac.org.au

Encouraging news – Patrick McGorry reverses support for ‘pre-psychosis drugging’ and should now abandon his support for the inclusion of ‘Psychosis Risk Syndrome’ in DSMV

This weeks blog ( http://speedupsitstill.com/ ) welcomes Patrick McGorry’s change of heart in abadoning his advocacy of pre-psychosis drugging and calls on the Australian of the Year to oppose the inclusion of Psychosis Risk Syndrome in the handbook of psychiatry the DSM.

For over a decade Patrick McGorry had advocated the prescription of antipsychotics to adolescents on the hunch that they may later become psychotic. However, in response to last week’s blog ( http://speedupsitstill.com/patrick-mcgorry%e2%80%99s-call-early-intervention-psychosis-stitch-time-stitch-up ) a spokesperson for Professor McGorry told the West Australian Professor McGorry no longer supports pre-psychosis drugging.

To the best of my knowledge this is the first time Professor McGorry has publicly declared that he has abandoned his support for the use of antipsychotics to prevent psychosis. His change of position is welcome. However, history tells it will not be enough to prevent a tide of pre-emptive drugging if Psychosis Risk Syndrome is included in DSMV, the next edition of the American Psychiatric Associations handbook of psychiatry.

If this happens over-confident clinicians influenced by drug company hype (and possibly inducements) will prescribe adolescents antipsychotics as ‘bit of extra insurance’ just in case they later become psychotic. It won’t be the majority of potential prescribers who create a problem, but as we learned from the manufactured ADHD epidemic a handful of rogue prescribers can do enormous damage whilst the majority of their colleagues silently look on.

Officially recognising Psychosis Risk Syndrome in the DSMV would give a false legitimacy to the use of anti-psychotics for the treatment of the “disorder”. It would also give legitimacy to the “disorder” itself. Given that the vast majority (60%-90%) of those diagnosed with Psychosis Risk Disorder would be misdiagnosed ‘false positives’ it is legitimacy it does not deserve.

It is encouraging that Professor McGorry now acknowledges that it is reasonable to hold contrary views on the merit of including ‘Psychosis Risk Syndrome’ in DSMV. This is a significant change from his recent rhetoric of 21st Century proven solutions. Hopefully it indicates an increasing willingness to base clinical practice on evidence rather than hypothesis.

I suspect that this softening of Professor Mcgorry’s position is in large part due to the 180 degree reversal of support for Psychosis Risk Syndrome by his long term research partner at Orygen Youth Health psychiatrist Dr Alison Yung. In 2009 Dr Yung said; ‘So why the need for a specific risk syndrome diagnosis? Is the agenda really to use antipsychotics?

Dr Yung’s change is significant, but as Australian of the Year and a former president and current treasurer of the International Early Psychosis Association, it is Professor McGorry who has both the ear of government and the international psychiatric profession.

Changing his view on the validity of Psychosis Risk Syndrome being included in DSMV would not be an admission of failure but an act of a truly deserving Australian of the Year. More importantly according to Dr Allen Frances, the American Psychiatrist who led the 1994 revision of the current edition of the DSM (DSM-IV), it would help avoid ‘an iatrogenic [adverse
effects resulting from treatment] public health disaster’

The full content of the blog is included below or available at http://speedupsitstill.com/

Barring unexpected devlopments next weeks blog (Monday December 5) will examines the question; One year on and what action has the Gillard Government taken on the discredited National ADHD Guidelines?

Martin Whitely MLA

Author Speed Up and Sit Still

Past Blogs

Monday November 15 2010 – ADHD child prescribing rates increase sharply; with Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart vying for the dubious honour of being Australia’s Child Drugging Capital. http://speedupsitstill.com/sydney-brisbane-hobart-vie-dubious-honour-australia%e2%80%99s-adhd-child-drugging-capital

Monday November 22 2010 – Australian of the Year patrick McGorry’s call for early interventionto prevent psychosis: a Stitch in Time or a Step too Far. http://speedupsitstill.com/patrick-mcgorry%e2%80%99s-call-early-intervention-psychosis-stitch-time-stitch-up

Coming Blogs at http://speedupsitstill.com/news

Monday December 5- One year on and what action has the Gillard Government taken on the discredited National ADHD Guidelines?

Monday December 12- New Research; beating boredom a key to keeping kids ADHD drug free (by guest blogger Dr Nigel Williams).

Monday December 19- The ADHD Birthday Lottery; how a childs birthday effects their chances of being diagnosed.

Patrick McGorry stops advocating ‘pre-psychosis drugging’ and should now abandon his support for the inclusion of ‘Psychosis Risk Syndrome’ in DSMV

For over a decade Patrick McGorry had advocated the prescription of antipsychotics to adolescents on the hunch that they may later become psychotic. However, in response to last week’s blog a spokesperson for Professor McGorry told the West Australian he does “not recommend this (pre-psychosis drugging) as a standard treatment for clinical care because there are other treatments that are safer, like cognitive behavioural therapy and fish oil….there has been a substantial amount of research and we do change according to the research.”[1]

To the best of my knowledge this is the first time Professor McGorry has publicly declared that he has abandoned his support for the use of antipsychotics to prevent psychosis. His change of position is welcome. However, history tells it will not be enough to prevent a tide of pre-emptive drugging if Psychosis Risk Syndrome is included in DSMV, the next edition of the American Psychiatric Associations handbook of psychiatry.[2]

Unfortunately it is common practice for psychiatric drugs to be used ‘off label’ for non-approved purposes, without supporting research on the ‘hunch’ of the prescribing clinician. For example across the globe hundreds of thousands of pre-schoolers have been prescribed Ritalin for ADHD despite the fact that the manufacturers warning ‘there is not enough information to recommend its use in children under 6 years old.’[3]

This is exactly what will happen with anti-psychotics if Psychosis Risk Syndrome is included in DSMV. Over-confident clinicians influenced by drug company hype (and possibly inducements) will prescribe adolescents antipsychotics as ‘bit of extra insurance’ just in case they later become psychotic. It won’t be the majority of potential prescribers who create a problem, but as we learned from the manufactured ADHD epidemic a handful of rogue prescribers can do enormous damage whilst the majority of their colleagues silently look on.

Officially recognising Psychosis Risk Syndrome in the DSMV would give a false legitimacy to the use of anti-psychotics for the treatment of the “disorder”. It would also give legitimacy to the “disorder” itself. Given that the vast majority (60%-90%) of those diagnosed with Psychosis Risk Disorder would be misdiagnosed ‘false positives’ it is legitimacy it does not deserve.[4]

But most importantly it is completely unnecessary to include Psychosis Risk Syndrome in the DSMV. Professor McGorry and fellow psychiatrists do not need a new “disorder” to allow his now preferred treatments, cognitive behaviour therapy and fish oil, to be used for troubled adolescents.

On the positive side, in addition to reversing his support for the use of anti-psyhotics before any psychotic episode, Professor McGorry’s policy advisor, Matthew Hamilton, has also acknowledged that Professor McGorry is now open to considering these non-pharmaceutical treatments as the first line of treatment for adolescents who have experienced a first psychotic episode.

This is more good news. It may encourage clinicians to identify and deal with the causes of first psychosis free from the ‘mist of medication’ and will not prevent the later use of antipsychotics if less chemically invasive treatments are ineffective.

It is also encouraging that Professor McGorry now acknowledges that it is reasonable to hold contrary views on the merit of including ‘Psychosis Risk Syndrome’ in DSMV. This is a significant change from his recent rhetoric of 21st Century proven solutions. Hopefully it indicates an increasing willingness to base clinical practice on evidence rather than hypothesis.

I suspect that this softening of Professor Mcgorry’s position is in large part due to the 180 degree reversal of support for Psychosis Risk Syndrome by his long term research partner at Orygen Youth Health psychiatrist Dr Alison Yung. In 2009 Dr Yung said; ‘So why the need for a specific risk syndrome diagnosis? Is the agenda really to use antipsychotics?…I think there are concerns about validity, especially predictive validity, and this relates to potentially stigmatizing and unjustified treatment for some individuals as well as all the negative social effects of diagnosis. I think including the risk syndrome in the DSM-V is premature.’[5]

Dr Yung’s change is significant, but as Australian of the Year and a former president and current treasurer of the International Early Psychosis Association, it is Professor McGorry who has both the ear of government and the international psychiatric profession.

Changing his view on the validity of Psychosis Risk Syndrome being included in DSMV would not be an admission of failure but an act of a truly deserving Australian of the Year. More importantly according to Dr Allen Frances, the American Psychiatrist who led the 1994 revision of the current edition of the DSM (DSM-IV), it would help avoid ‘an iatrogenic [adverse
effects resulting from treatment] public health disaster’
.[6]

Thai & Burmese owners should pay for their negligence – Greens back Montara reccomendation for polluter pays system

26 November 2010

Greens back Montara recommendation for polluter pays system

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Marine Issues has backed a key recommendation of the Montara Commission of Inquiry report, the development of a ‘polluter pays’ system for environmental accidents and says the party have given in-principle support to the prospect of a single regulator.

Senator Siewert says Australia currently relies on the good will of companies to meet cleanup and recovery costs, without legal obligation in place.

“Companies are only legally required to have insurance to cover the costs of complying with directions relating to the clean-up or other remediation of the effects of the escape of petroleum,” Senator Siewert said today.

“The current law places no specific liability on the owners of oil wells to pay for the clean up or environmental damage caused by spills. The Greens have advocated for a robust statutory liability regime for offshore petroleum activities.

“During the election, we proposed a legislative scheme that includes strict liability for the full costs of removing the oil and clean up, environmental repair and on-going environmental monitoring. This could be one way of implementing the polluter pay principle.

“Such a scheme will ensure that the companies, who seek to profit from offshore petroleum activities, rather than the community, are required to pay the costs of oil spills.

“The scheme would also cover damage to our shared natural resources, including assessment of such damage and economic losses, including destruction of property and loss of income.

“An uncapped statutory liability regime will also act as an incentive to meet strict operating standards to minimise the risk of oil spilling in to our oceans. This is one possible way of implementing the polluter pay principle, but we are open to consider alternatives if they are considered more effective,” said Senator Siewert.

Senator Siewert says The Greens have given in-principle support to the Inquiry’s recommendation to establish a single regulator for the offshore oil and gas sector.

“However we have concerns with such a regulator taking over responsibility under the Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and will be carefully reviewing the Government’s legislation once it is introduced,” Senator Siewert said.

“Cultural change that delivers a more rigorous approach to safety and environmental issues is clearly necessary – we will be looking for this in the new regulator” said Senator Siewert.

“But this will not happen without appropriate Government investment. The Greens will be working to ensure that the financial support, legislative support and staffing support needed for the single regulator are delivered.

“Without appropriately experienced staff and without the financial resources, we won’t see the regulatory improvements which are so obviously needed.

“I encourage all states and territories to cooperate fully in the process of establishing a single regulator and lend their existing skills and knowledge to the process,” Senator Siewert concluded.

Media Inquiries – Chris Redman