HOW TO APPROACH YOUR LOCAL MP
1. Find out what electorate you are in
If you are not sure of this, you can look up your address at http://ecsa.sa.gov.au/electoral-boundaries/find-my-electoral-district/find-my-electoral-district1
You can also view a profile of your electorate via http://ecsa.sa.gov.au/electoral-boundaries/state-boundaries
2. Find out about your MP
When you know what electorate you are in, you can find which MP represents you by looking them up in this list: http://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Members/HouseofAssembly/Pages/List%20of%20Members.aspx
Click on their name to view their profile, which includes information on any past and current portfolios, their membership of parliamentary committees, some personal bio information and their contact details.
3. Contact your MP
Arranging to visit them is the most powerful thing to do, so ring their office to arrange a meeting. Be emphatic about your passion for democracy and your urgent desire to speak to your local member on a pressing issue.
If you really don't want to have a face to face meeting, calling their office or writing them a letter or email are still very worth doing.
Pointers on talking to your MP
- Think of the aspect of the proposal you know or care most about
- Don’t feel like you need to be an expert
- Ask questions
- Talk about your values, why you feel strongly about this issue
Ask questions about how the MP feels about a certain issue and why as opposed to telling them how you feel. Then use their answers to pivot to your issues.
Anatomy of a persuasive conversation:
- Introduce yourself and explain why you are there
- Start a conversation with an inquiry – how do they feel about x?
- Use the response to gauge support level and values
- Pivot to the campaign issues and steer the conversation to the ask.
- If needed, ask a follow-up question to bring them closer to the campaign issues you want to discuss.
- Ask the MP to get back to you on any unclear issue - this can maintain contact
- that any potential for storage of nuclear waste be opposed in the Parliament
- that the MP communicate to colleagues they are hearing a lot of concern from the community
Links to online resources:
- Conservation SA fact sheets on the dump proposal: http://www.conservationsa.org.au/nuclear_factsheets
- Advertiser article Craig Wilkins: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/nuclear/news-story/32f966715b046aa72edd088e4eb88074
- The Greens have produced this video which provides a good summary of the proposal for SA: http://greens.org.au/nuclear-waste
- Article by Economist Richard Blandy: http://indaily.com.au/news/business/analysis/2016/06/07/how-a-high-level-nuclear-waste-dump-could-lose-money/