Contacting your local candidates this federal election will help strengthen the voice for people who ride bikes in Australia.
Candidates and parties are there to listen to the views of the public and if elected, represent your needs in parliament. The more people who contact politicians about bike riding, the harder it is to ignore us.
As a voting constituent, your opinion holds a lot of weight. Candidates could win or lose the election based on the way you vote.
Letters and emails are one of the simplest ways to engage candidates and politicians about bike riding, an issue you care about.
How do I find my candidates?
First, you’ll need to know your federal electorate. If you don’t know it, you can use your postcode to find out: https://electorate.aec.gov.au/
Some candidates are still being locked in with nominations open until 21 April. Here’s a list of federal candidates that are known for each electorate so far.
Contact information can be found for the major party candidates via the links below:
A quick Google or Facebook search will turn up the contact information for candidates from other parties and independents.
Don’t forget to cc email@example.com in your correspondence. Any responses that you receive will be published on our campaign tracker.
Tips for writing an email or letter
1. Address your letter/email correctly
Make sure you use the candidate’s correct title and contact details.
Politicians who have been or are government ministers will have the title “The Honourable” prefixing their name. For example, use The Hon. Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr First Name Last Name MP’ in the case of Ministers who are MPs or ‘Senator the Hon. First Name Last Name’ in the case of Ministers who are Senators.
Start your email or letter with Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr Last Name’ in the case of MPs, and ‘Dear Senator’ or ‘Dear Senator Last Name’ in the case of Senators.
2. Introduce yourself and issue
Start your letter or email by stating who you are and why you are contacting them – make sure your purpose is precise and focused.
In the case of this federal election, you’re a voting constituent keen to learn more about the position and policies of candidates/parties on bike riding issues.
3. Know what you’re going to say
Keep it brief, objective, polite and as short as possible. Stick to the facts while highlighting the need for urgent action.
If you’re unsure about the content of your letter or email, Bicycle Network’s Federal Election priority paper is a good place to start. It’s full of quick and reliable information about bike riding as well as priorities for the incoming government.
Some key things you may want to write to your federal candidates about include:
- A $492million+ annual cycling infrastructure fund
- Fund a pay to ride-to-work scheme
- Fund Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program and extend it to become a national program
- Establish national safety standards for heavy vehicles
- Combat distracted driving by adopting Bicycle Network’s recommendations.
4. Add a personal touch and use your own words
We won’t provide you with a letter or email template because using your own words is much more impactful.
Using a short personal story to explain why the issue is important to you is a great way to connect with their head and heart.
Think about what you want to see changed and why. How does it make you feel? For example, does current infrastructure make you scared, nervous about riding? Are you worried about your child getting enough exercises? Are you too scared to ride on some roads because of the trucks, etc?
Let the candidate know how their position on bike riding or active transport will impact how you will vote and that others in the electorate also care about the issue.
Collective action makes a difference
With the election now called for Saturday 18 May, now's the perfect time to let your candidates know that you want to see a commitment for bikes and the people who ride them.
A letter or email from a person riding a bike is not just another submission full of facts and figures from experts, its everyday Australians telling their story. It makes the facts real.
Together if we get enough members and friends contacting candidates then we can make a difference for bike riders.
Please take the time to share our federal election policy paper with your local candidates. Don't forget to cc' firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep track of the announcements and commitments so far, check out our federal election campaign page.
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Find out more about Bicycle Network and support us in making it easier for people to ride bikes.