Contacting your local candidates this Victorian election will help strengthen the voice for people who ride bikes in Australia. This guide is designed to help you speak directly to the candidates in your local area, and let them know what needs to be done for bike riding in your electorate.
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.
Find your candidates
First, you’ll need to know your electoral district. There are 88 electoral districts across Victoria, and many electoral boundaries will be changing this year. You can find your district on the Victorian Electoral Commission website.
Some candidates are still being locked in for the state election. Here’s a list of candidates that are known for each electorate so far.
Contact information can be found for the major party candidates via their respective party websites. We will update this page once candidates are announced.
For smaller party or independent candidates, a quick Google or Facebook search will turn up the contact information for candidates from other parties and independents.
If you receive a response, forward it onto firstname.lastname@example.org and any commitments will be published on our commitment 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 the issues you wish to address
Start your letter or email by stating who you, any groups you are involved with or may be contacting on behalf of are and why you are contacting them – make sure your purpose is precise and focused.
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.
It’s a good idea to start local, outline your vision for bike riridng in your local community. If you’re unsure about the content of your letter or email, Bicycle Network’s Victorian 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.
If there is nothing you’d like changed in your local area, you can just ask them and their party to commit to one of our priority policies such as a national bike incentive scheme or ask for a commitment to match the European Union’s General Safety Regulation (GSR) for vehicle safety requirements.
If you would like to add a local element but not sure of the best infrastructure to request, check out our 10 marginal electorates article, or email us at email@example.com and one of our policy advisors will send through some priority projects for your electorate.
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 mid-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 Victorian election policy paper with your local candidates. Don't forget to cc' firstname.lastname@example.org.