Politicians can only do their job properly if they know what their constituents (voters) want. Yet, surprisingly, few people contact their political representatives.
Your personal story is what interests them the most. Tell them why koalas matter to you. Make it personal, honest, brief and simple. They want to appear to be in touch with the real people on the street.
Some say a phone call is the best way to contact a politician. Apparently it is not uncommon for a politician to support a bill after just 7 to 10 phone calls from the public supporting it. If you get nervous, write a little script first to ensure you say what you want to say. Don’t worry – you will be answered by a polite and courteous member of the politician’s staff. They won’t ask lots of questions or grill you for facts. They will take a record of your call and the issue – in fact ask them to do this.
See below for a sample phone call script. Also see below for links to Federal, State & Local Members, Senators and Ministers.
Emails and written letters are also worthwhile, and both are logged on the public record. Keep them to one page maximum. See below for a sample letter suggestion.
Thankyou for standing up for koalas!
Sample phone call:
Hello, thankyou for taking my call. Happy Wild Koala Day!
My name is and I live in [the minister’s/member’s/senator’s] electorate. I’m calling to draw [the minister’s/member’s/senator’s] attention to the issue of wild koala protection.
I am a …. and this is what’s happened to me……. I am worried about…..
I have 3 points to raise:
- Koalas are worth $3billion to the Australian economy every year. Investment in koalas will pay off in jobs. (or something similar)
- I strongly urge [the minister/member/senator] to [support the VIC: Great Forest National Park / NSW: Great Koala National Park / QLD: funding to Koala Ecology Group at University of Qld] (or) [strengthen the VIC: Management of koala welfare in Blue Gum plantations / NSW: Biodiversity Conservation Act & Local Land Services Amendment Act/ QLD: the Vegetation Management Act]
- I strongly urge [the minister/member/senator] to oppose the …….. (weakening of land clearing laws/funding cuts to National Parks agencies/funding cuts to scientific research/or similar)
I would be pleased to see [the minister’s/member’s/senator’s] support of this in future.
Thanks for your time.
From: (your name, your address, town, state)
Subject (in subject line of email, or here for a letter): [something like: Please support koalas and jobs/Please oppose Adani Carmichael/other/ or Koalas are important to me]
Dear [Minister/Senator/Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr] their last name
I write to you as [who you are – one of your constituents/a concerned citizen/a koala rescuer/a tourism operator/a grandparent etc] [I have met you at …./voted for you/voted for your party in the past/I have never written before] and I want to bring my concerns to your attention and ask for your support.
[Last year/recently/etc] I had a confronting experience: I was called upon to …. [rescue an injured koala from the road/take an international friend for a walk to see koalas and couldn’t find any/give water to a thirsty koala/or similar] and it made me realise that time was running out for koalas.
Koalas are worth an estimated AUD $2-3billion per year through tourism, and an estimated 60,000 jobs. But they are declining in (your state – if state polly/across most of their range – if federal) and I and my [friends and family/co-workers] are worried about [our jobs/our future].
Please, I urge you to support any bill that increases funding to National Parks, scientific koala research, tree planting on private land and river health; and to oppose any bill that allows clearing of native forest, new mines in koala habitat, new roads or rail through koala habitat. (or insert any local issue here including those listed above in the phone sample)
In particular I ask for your support for the [VIC: Great Forest National Park/ NSW: Great Koala National Park/ insert any local issue here] and opposition to [QLD: Adani Carmichael mine/ NSW: Shenhua Watermark mine/ Wallarah 2 mine/ VIC: VicForests logging in Central Highlands / insert any local issue here]
Thankyou for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you.
LIST OF FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL LINKS TO MEMBERS, SENATORS & MINISTERS:
Federal: Search for your Federal Senators and local member with your postcode: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members
- Prime Minister: Scott Morrison PH: (02) 6277 7700 Electoral office: (02) 9523 0339 Twitter: @scottMorrisonMP
- Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources: David Littleproud PH: (02) 6277 7630 Electoral office: (07) 4662 2715
- Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment: Simon Birmingham PH: (02) 6277 7420 Electoral office: (08) 8354 1644
- Treasurer: Josh Frydenburg Ph: (02) 6277 7920 Electoral office:(03) 9882 3677
- Minister for the Environment: Sussan Ley PH: (02) 6277 7920 Electoral office: (08) 6021 3264 Email: Sussan.Ley.MP@aph.gov.au
- Leader of the Opposition: Anthony Albanese Ph: (02) 6277 4664 Electoral office:(02) 9564 3588
- Shadow Minister for Environment & Water: Terri Butler Ph: (02) 6277 4877 Electoral office: (07) 3397 1674
- Shadow Minister for Tourism: Don Farrell Ph: (02) 6277 3053 Electoral office: (08) 8231 8400
New South Wales State: Find your electorate: http://streetlist.elections.nsw.gov.au/ Then search it here: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/members/pages/all-members.aspx?house=la&tab=search (its a bit weird, but you’ll see a list of members come up on left – then find them on the Browse tab.)
- Premier: Gladys Berejiklian Phone (02) 8574 5000
- Minister for Energy & the Environment: Matthew Keen Phone (02) 8574 6150
- Minister for Housing: Melinda Pavey Phone (02) 8574 7300
- Opposition Leader & Shadow Minister for the Environment: Penny Sharpe – Phone (02) 9747 1711 Email: email@example.com
- Premier: Daniel Andrews Ph: (03) 9651 5000 Electoral office: (03) 9548 5644
- Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change: Lily D’Ambrosio Ph: (03) 9637 9504 Electoral office: (03) 9422 5171
- Minister for Tourism: Martin Parkula Ph: (03) 8392 2151 Electoral office: (03) 9547 6262
- Leader of the Opposition: Michael O’Brien Ph: (03) 9576 1850 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Local: Find your council here: https://knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au/councils Then search it here: http://www.vic.gov.au/ You will have to go to the council website for a list of all councillors.
Queensland State: Find your electorate:http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/electoral-boundaries/find-my-electorate/state-district-maps-new Then choose it from the dropdown “Find a Member” here: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/members/current/list
- Premier – Anastasia Palaczszuk, phone (07) 3719 7000 email@example.com
- Minister for Environment & Heritage Protection/Minister for National Parks & the Great Barrier Reef – Leeanne Enoch ph 07 3719 7140 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Minister for Housing & Public Works/Minister for Sport – Mick de Brenni ph 07 3719 7270 email@example.com
- Minister for State Development/Minister for Natural Resources & Mines – Anthony Lynham MP ph 07 3719 7360 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader of the Opposition: Deborah (Deb) Frecklington ph (07) 3838 6767 email@example.com
South Australia State: Find your electorate: http://www.ecsa.sa.gov.au/electoral-boundaries/find-my-electoral-district Then look for it here: http://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Members/HouseofAssembly/Pages/List%20of%20Members.aspx
Tasmania State: Find everything here: http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/lc/lclists.pdf
Tasmania Local: Find it all here: http://www.lgat.tas.gov.au/page.aspx?u=221
Western Australia: Find your electorate: http://www.boundaries.wa.gov.au/ Then search it here: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament/memblist.nsf/WebCurrMembElectorate
Northern Territory: Find your electorate: http://www.ntec.nt.gov.au/ElectoratesAndBoundaries/FindMyElectoralArea/Pages/default.aspx Then search it here: https://parliament.nt.gov.au/members-of-parliament/members-by-name
SENATORS: find your Federal Senators by state below. All the Senators representing your state are representing you.