Write a Letter to the Australian Government Demanding RESPONSIBLE Environmental Change!

If you’re anything like me, politics and the Government confuses the heck out of you. As of about 2 days ago, I actually had no idea that there are three levels of Government in Australia. Yup, it’s not something I’ve ever taken the time to educate myself about. I don’t feel bad about it. I just never really saw the value and importance of needing to know stuff like that. Until now. 

These fires have captured everyones attention. And in my personal opinion, Mother Nature is demanding that attention. She’s screaming ‘LISTEN TO ME!!’.  Well Mother Nature, I’m hoping this year we can ALL do better for you and for all living beings that you care for. 

About 2 days ago, I saw a video by @annarose_richards on Instagram and for me the penny dropped. I learnt so much about how it’s possible to make legislative (law) change within the government by using MY voice and sharing my concerns with my Local MP. Anna spent four year inside the walls of Parliament in Canberra and she is starting a movement, which I am so excited to be a part of. So as a THANK YOU to Anna Richards for teaching me this, I’m sharing this with YOU, because she believes the whole of Australia (and the world) needs to act. If you'd like to watch Anna's video, you can view this on her IGTV or Instagram feed.

For those of you who want to skip the things I learnt along the way, scroll straight to  'Here's how you can send the letter' below.

First things first, lets break down some of the confusing stuff: 

What are the three levels of the Australian Government? 

  • Federal (or national) Parliament, located in Canberra
  • State/territory parliaments, six state and two territories, located in each state/territory capital city
  • Local councils (also called shires or municipalities), with 560 across the nation. **Local council is where your voice is heard. More details below..

For the purpose of this exercise, you just need to know that I have sent a letter to my LOCAL Member of Parliament. His name is Honourable Trevor Evans. He represents Brisbane, Queensland as this is his ‘Electorate’. An ‘Electorate’ is an area that is represented by one member of Parliament.

In parliamentary terms; I am a ‘constituent’ of the Electorate of Brisbane, Queensland. A 'constituent' is a person/member of an area within an electorate. Hon Trevor Evans is the man who will receive my letter and when (I'm not saying 'if') he receives enough letters of concerns he MUST take this matter to the Parliament floor and discuss this with other politicians. THAT'S WHY WE NEED YOU!

As Anna Richards explains, “When laws are created in Australia and they are voted on, or changed, or implemented it happens in Parliament. 

One man doesn’t decide this, aka Scomo - Scott Morrison, a group of Parliamentarians do. Thanks goodness, that would be a dictatorship otherwise.”

Below is a diagram which explains how law is passed in Australia:

If the constituents (you and I) do not have a voice about what is actually important to us then the Local member of Parliament cannot fairly represent us.

Anna explains: "Mass mail out is where change can occur!"

Hundreds of people cannot be ignored and will essentially force the MP onto the Parliamentary floor to discuss the issues and change or create legislation if it is not currently available. If there is DEMAND AT MASS, we cannot be ignored.

Here's how you can send the letter: 

1. Find out the name and mail address of your Local MP. To do this, simply type into Google 'Local member of parliament for _insert your electorate here_'. If you are unsure what your Electorate is, you can use google to find this out also. 

Be sure to note your MP's correct prefix i.e. Honourable, Dr, Mr, or Mrs.

2. Click here to view the letter that Anna has already pre-typed for us all!

To edit the letter, you can select 'Download' and save this to your device or save directly to your DropBox. Once it's downloaded, you can make changes.

3. Read the letter carefully, it's important to understand and know what you are sending. You can always type your own letter if you prefer!

4. Insert your Local MP's name and contact address details and update any other highlighted points in yellow shown in the letter, including your name and address details down the bottom. Include your postal address so they have an avenue to contact you back.

5. Print the letter and sign it down the bottom.

6. Send IT!! TODAY!

7. If you do not hear back within one month, send the same letter again and again until you get a response. 

IT IS THAT EASY to make impactful long term change. And I know you can do it!

Side note: Because I am a New Zealand Citizen and an Australian Permanent Resident, I don’t have the right to vote in Federal or State Elections in Australia. No New Zealanders do (unless they were enrolled to vote years and years ago). But as I wrote in my letter to my Local MP, I still want my voice to be heard, because Australia is my home and I plan to live here for the foreseeable future. 

Let's make 2020 the year for change! Together.