Lobbying your local federal member

Here are some useful ideas

1.     The objective is to make them understand why this change is not going to help you get a job and why it is making your lives more difficult. Put an emphasis on the aspects of your life that make it hard to find a job or maybe increase existing hours if you have paid work. Raise issues like transport, lack of available care, costs of local care, difficulties children have, but also make sure you talk about the external barriers. This could and should include prejudices of employers, lack of local work, bad attitudes of local service providers, problems with neighbourhoods etc.

2.     Check who is your local member of the federal parliament

3.     Make an appointment to see your local member, as they don’t read letters, be quite insistent and try not to be fobbed off onto a staff member.

4.     Take someone with you, and if appropriate, child(ren).

5.      Prepare your personal story under the following headings

·      Who you are and some details of your local connections, eg family, kids’ school etc

·      Ages of children, and what classes they are in

·      Any health or other problems that make it hard for them and/or you and take up time

·      Other family needs or involvements that take up time eg being in court.

·      External barriers to finding or increasing paid work hours (see above)

·      Your work history, pick the relevant points

§    Your workforce status, looking for work, part time job  or exempt?

§   What happens if you look for work

§  What help, if any, you have to find jobs

§  Study you do or want to do


6.     Make sure you are clear about how the changes will or are affecting you

7.     Tell them  what changes you want to see

8.     Ask them to lobby their leaders to make some changes.

9.     Tell them you will come back to see what their colleagues said, if at all sympathetic.  

10.  Try and get a story in the local paper about your visiting the local politician and why

11.  Report on your meeting to a SPAG or other co-ordinator

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