Contacting politicians, both incumbent and prospective, by writing letters/emails is a valuable way for to hear what voters are thinking and want. The role of our elected polticians is to represent you. If they don’t meet the needs of the people in their electorate they risk not getting voted back! It it is your right to hold them to account.
If we want to strengthen the voice for climate change action in Australia, we need to let our politicians know it is important to us. The more people who make contact the better, as it increases the chances of the matter (climate change issue) being raised.
You are likely to receive a generic reply that dismisses your concerns or claims that sufficient measures to address climate change are already in place. Yet, the action of writing that letter/email to express your opinion is still an important mechanism for provoking change as politicians use such letters to measure public sentiment. Your individual letter indicates that there are many others just like you who feel the same way.
Another option is to consider contacting your state’s Senators or the Minister whose portfolio relates to your topic area (e.g. Environment Minister or Energy Minister).
Amplify the impact of your letter by revising it slightly and sending it to the Shadow Minister for the opposition.
To increase public accountability, it can be useful to send a revised version of your letter to the editor for The Leader for publication. Here is a link: https://www.theleader.com.au/comment/send-a-letter-to-the-editor/
Get Started by following our handy hints below!
Finding the Contact Details
Make sure you use your MP’s/Senators/Ministers correct title and contact details.
Send a message to the Prime Minister here
Federal Politicians – find your local representative here
State Politicians – find your local representative here
Guidelines to Writing an Effective Letter
- Personalise your letter, it is more meaningful, it will stand out and have a better impact.
If you do use a campaign letter in support of a particular issue, it is important to take the time to put the key points in your own words and add in your own thoughts. Eg. highlight a local connection to the issue; include a personal experience, find relevant facts/figures or a recent news article to strengthen your personal case, regarding the issue.
- Always use a polite and respectful tone, aggressive language won’t achieve any positive outcomes.
- Keep it simple, to the point and no more than 2 pages.
- If you are requiring a response from your letter, give it about a month, remember senators and your MP are extremely busy and receive many requests. Contact the office for your senator or MP to follow up and remind them about your letter and when you might receive a response. If you still don’t receive a response after 2 weeks call again. Be polite about it and keep on it until you do get your response. Our politicians have a responsibility to represent you and to communicate with you. That is why they were elected and why they are paid.
Sample Letter to your MP
Here is a template as a guide:
Your Address here
Email address here
Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr First name, last name MP
Their address here
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr Last Name MP
Begin the letter by stating who you are and tell them if you are a member of their electorate. Include a personal experience relevant to the issue, or add if you have applicable connections with a community group.
Identify the issue and use simple points and facts to state your case. Write clearly and logically in well set out paragraphs.
Next tell your MP what you are asking of them and what you want them to do. Your aim is to bring about change so your letter needs to say more than just how you feel about the issue. Make sure you state what you want your MP to do clearly and to the point.
Finally finish your letter requesting a reply to your letter.