What if my MP has no interest in my issue?
Just because an MP may not be personally interested in a certain policy area doesn’t mean they won’t respond to, or represent, your views. Show them how much it means to you and their interest may well increase. Always remember that MPs are there to represent you.
What if my MP already supports my issue? Should I still contact them?
If your MP supports your issue, consider them a powerful ally and work to maintain a relationship with them. Are there ways in which you can help each other to raise the profile of your issue? You might also write and thank them for their hard work - everyone likes to be appreciated.
Do I need to be an expert about the issues?
Not at all. It helps to understand the subject, but your passion for an issue is what will leave a lasting impact on your MP, not your knowledge.
How can I keep track of what my MP is doing?
Some sources you can use to find out about your MP and their views are:
- Their website, Facebook page, and Twitter posts
- Their Parliamentary Friendship groups (may also have a Facebook group). List of groups: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Friendship
- Their party website ALP, Liberal, Greens, Nationals
- Their party’s policy platform ALP, Liberal, Greens, Nationals
- How they vote in Parliament They vote for you
- What they say in Parliament. Proceedings of both houses are recorded in Hansard. You can also set up a Hansard keyword search at Open Australia
Why is now a really good time to be engaging with my MP?
Now is a critical time for engaging with MPs because there will be a federal election in the next few months. It’s much easier to influence the government or opposition parties before they make policy decisions rather than after. If you communicate your concerns before or during these periods you are more likely to get their attention - and before an election MPs will be more receptive to any issues that secure them votes.
Lots of other organisations are also gearing up to lobby MPs and political parties in the lead-up to the election.
Where else can I find information on climate issues to write about/talk about with my MP?
Climate change effects on Health: https://www.dea.org.au/fact-sheets
CCL's community site https://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/learn/
2013 article with some still relevant questions for MPs
What other organisations target MPs and government about climate?
Answer = LOTS! Check their websites for information on their areas of interest and/or actions.
There’s a big list here.
A few of the main ones are:
- Australian Conservation Foundation ACF
- Australian Parents for Climate Action AP4CA
- Australian Religious Response to Climate Change ARRCC
- Australian Youth Climate Coalition AYCC
- Climate and Health Alliance CAHA
- Citizens Climate Lobby CCL
- Climate Council
- Climate for Change
- Climate Emergency Declaration CED
- Climate Justice
- Doctors for the Environment Australia DEA
- Environment Victoria
- Friends of the Earth FoE
- Green Music Australia
- Market Forces
- Psychology for a Safe Climate
- Quit Coal
- Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network SEED
- Stop Adani
- Tipping Point