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How to contact your local MP or candidate

 

By making personal contact with the people who represent you or want to represent you in Victoria's Parliament you can influence the shape of the government's environmental policies.

Personal emails, letters, phone calls or even private meetings are great ways of letting MPs and candidates know that you want them to do their best to protect our natural environment.

 

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Here's some tips on how to get your message across:

 

Step 1: Find your electorate

If you don't already know which electorate you live in you can find out on the Victorian Electoral Commission's lookup page.

 

Step 2: Identify your candidates

If there is an election or by-election on you can use the Victorian Electoral Commission website to find registered candidates.

 

Step 3: Contact your local MP

Letters or emails

  • Letters or emails work best if you use your own words.
  • Ask for a response.
  • Be polite.

Below is an example letter you could use for inspiration.

 

Phone calls or meetings

Personal contact with the people who represent your electorate is a powerful way of getting your message across, so why not get in contact with them on the phone or organise a face-to-face meeting?

Below are points to make in phone calls or meetings

 

Example Letter

Dear [Candidates Name],

I care for Victoria's natural environment and want to see leadership on measures to protect and enhance the state's network of parks and conservation reserves.

I have been increasingly concerned by pressures being placed on national parks, especially in recent years, including opening parks up to prospecting, cattle grazing and 99-year leases for private developments that do not align with the conservation objectives for these areas.

I am also concerned about significant cuts to staff and resources in the parks management agency Parks Victoria.

From the Victorian Government I would like to see:

  • A reversal in the damaging activities that are being allowed in national parks. This includes removing provisions for 99-year leases in national parks and reversing any agreements for inappropriate development at Point Nepean.
  • Banning cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park.
  • Creating a statewide blueprint for nature conservation and protecting parks.
  • An increase in funding for staffing and management of national parks and conservation reserves.
  • An increase in the park system including a commitment to create the Great Forest National Park as well as protecting the Wellsford State Forest near Bendigo.

I look forward to learning of your position on these issues.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

 

Points to make in phone calls or at meetings

Victoria's national parks and reserves system is the foundation of efforts to protect nature. They are also a key community asset:

  • National parks are a major drawcard for tourism, according to Parks Victoria generating $1.02 billion through park tourism. They also support $330 million worth of water-related services and $180 million in avoided health costs.
  • Parks and reserves provide invaluable rest and recreation for millions of Victorians - each year in Victoria there are 96 million visits to places managed by Parks Victoria, including 35 million visits to national parks.

A 2014 opinion polls revealed almost universal support for national parks in Victoria. Of those polled 96% recognise the importance of national parks for conserving nature and protecting native wildlife - 69% consider them 'very important'.

Poll details

 

In recent years national parks have been subject to many and varieds threats. These include:

  • Cattle grazing reintroduced to the Alpine National Park under the guise of a scientific trial.
  • Mineral prospecting expanded within national parks.
  • Legislation introduced allowing up to 99-year private leases in national parks for commercial development, the first of these being at Point Nepean National Park near Portsea.
  • Significantly cutting staff (over 100 positions) and funding from our parks management agency Parks Victoria.

From the new Labor Victorian Government I would like to see:

  • A reversal in the damaging activities that are being allowed in national parks. This includes removing provisions for 99-year leases in national parks and reversing any agreements for in appropriate development at Point Nepean.
  • Banning cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park.
  • Creating a statewide blueprint for nature conservation and protecting parks.
  • An increase in funding for staffing and management of national parks and conservation reserves.
  • An increase in the parks system including a commitment to create the Great Forest National Park as well as protecting the Wellsford State Forest near Bendigo.

 

Handy links

> Alpine cattle grazing
> Plan for a Great Forest National Park
> Wellsford State Forest under threat
> Development at Pt Nepean
> Prospecting in parks