A good thing about living in the ACT is that it is small compared to other Australian states and, therefore, government is more accessible. Often, an ACT politician will personally respond to your letter/email. As a consequence, your correspondence has a lot more impact than elsewhere.

If you want to improve something for cycling, don’t waste your effort whinging to friends; email a minister! If it is a cycling hazard you wish to report, follow our guidelines for reporting it.

Pointers

Some pointers when writing for letter/email:

  • ACT Government policy strongly supports cycling.
  • The current Minister for Territory and Municipal Services is Meegan FitzHarris. She is responsible for roads, shared paths, and other cycle infrastructure, so most likely the minister you will want to contact. The ACT Legislative Assembly website lists the MLAs in each electorate and how to contact them.
  • Generally positive, happy, sensible emailed letters work best. Politicians get a lot of negative criticism, so positive letters stand out and it will show you are not a deranged nutter! As Gandhi said, ‘A teaspoon of honey catches more flies than a gallon of bile’.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. If you can attach a photo of what needs to be fixed, then please do! A picture can make it immediately clear what the problem is and leaves the reader in little doubt.
  • Brevity is next to godliness.
  • Your letter or email message does not have to be a literary masterpiece, but you do have to send it. Great is good, but done is better!
  • Include your name and address to give your letter more credibility.

Example letter/email

Dear Minister

I am writing to ask that Canberra’s cycle paths be better signed. I love Canberra’s many cycle paths, but it is frustrating and discouraging when you get lost on them. I recently moved to Canberra and rode back from Woden to Manuka last Wednesday evening. What should have been a 30 minute ride turned into a two hour ride when I got lost in Yarralumla with darkness falling. Signing the cycle paths would prevent others suffering my fate and would be good for tourism, too.

Keep up all the good work that you are doing for cycling.

 

Sarah Smith

123 Green Street

Manuka ACT 2602

 

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