On October 7th the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) and Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG) met with our local federal member for Bendigo Mr. Steve Gibbons. We took with us piles and piles of surveys, over 350, collected from street stalls and door knocking across the two towns, and presented him with a 12 page list of comments collected from people.
Mr. Gibbons said he was very supportive of getting more support for renewable energy, and was impressed with the number of people who were involved in the survey and the level of support demonstrated for clean energy. He was noted that many of the comments were passionate and forceful wanting him to do something.
We requested that he increase his support for renewable energy and be more public about it.
We asked that he do this by supporting a a feed in tariff and raise the issue in parliament, not just behind the closed doors of the labor party caucus room. He eventually agreed to do this.
Steve is now much more publically supportive of renewable energy and said that he would:
1.Will raise a question in parliament about feed in tariffs (for more information on how feed in tariffs work and how they support jobs and renewable energy see the section on this 100 % website.) DONE !!
2.Will try and get a MASG and BSG a meeting with Climate Change Cabinet Minister Mr. Greg Combet.
Mr Gibbons has placed a question on notice to Climate Change Cabinet Minister Mr. Greg Combet on the notices for November 15th 2010. He will be asking the following about a National Feed in Tariff for the electricity grid:
1. Does the government see merit in the introduction of a national “Feed In” Tariff for renewable energy.
2. Does the government have a preference for a gross or net feed in tariff.
3. What are the impediments to the introduction of a national feed in tariff?
4. Would all major forms of renewable energy, solar,wind biomass, tidal be included in a national
Visit the MASG website to see the full notice of question posed by Mr. Gibbons.
Our advice for organising your MP
1. Get a good number of survey's done in the street and ideally doorknocking. That demonstrates that you are organised, aren't afraid to talk to people on the street, and know what your doing. I reckon at least 200 is a good number for an electorate. If you have 2 groups in your electorate then coordinate your efforts as we did and share the love. Then you can do 150 each and really rock their socks off.
2. Don't be timid. Clearly ask that your MP do something on your behalf and let them know what you want. i.e You want a public question in parliament, not just a mention in Caucus. Remember you have the community behind you, and if you can demonstrate that with good organising work beforehand then don't be shy !! They will appreciate it (or at least understand it !)
3. Tell the people that you surveyed what happened, maybe in a little newsletter. Tell them what to do next, and how their opinion helped organise their local member . Their are some great email tools that are free to help you email to a list some funky and professional looking emails. See verticalresponse or mailchimp.