Who is my...?
So you've got your issue, you've rallied support, you've gathered a petition and now you need to give all this information to someone who might do something about it. But who? How do you find out who represents you at local, state and federal government?
Government in Australia is broken down into three levels: local, state and federal.
- Local government is your local council, the people who are responsible for the things that happen on a local level, like rubbish collection, roadwork, parking fines - that sort of thing.
- State government is the government that represents your state or territory. They're responsible for the more big-picture stuff like schools, hospitals and police.
- Federal government is the Government of Australia, who are responsible for things on a national level.
There are overlaps between all three levels of government, so sometimes it's not clear who's responsible for what. For more about this, check out our Work out who does what page.
Once you have an idea which level of government you want to talk to, there are some pretty simple ways to find out who you need to talk to at that level. The following are some simple steps to find exactly the best person to talk to.
Let's start with local government
Step 1 : Find out which is your local council. The Municipal Association of Victoria (new window) or Local Government - DELWP (new window) are good places to start. They both provide an interactive map that you can use to find your local council. Click on the area of the map that you live in and it will give you a page with the Council name, details and a list of all the councillors.
Step 2: Click through on the web address of your local council. Council websites generally have a ward map (a breakdown of the local council area into sections which have councillors that represent each one) in an "About Council" section. You can then see a list of the Councillors and their contact details.
Step 3: Depending on what you prefer, send a letter, make a phone call or write an email to your local councillor. Check out our Write a letter to a politician and Write an email to a politician pages for more tips and advice on this step.
Now onto state government
Step 1: Head to the Parliament of Victoria website (new window) and use the "Find a Member of Parliament" search box in the right-hand menu to find your MP using your postcode.
Step 2: If you already know who you want to contact you can browse for their name using the "Browse members" link under the search box.
Step 3: Click through for more information on your state representatives and perhaps do some research on their own websites to find out a bit more about them. This can help you to see who would be best placed to listen to your concerns (i.e., they may have that as an interest themselves).
Step 4: Depending on what you prefer, send a letter, make a phone call or write an email to your state representatives. Check out our Write a letter to a politician and Write an email to a politician pages for more tips and advice on this step.
And now, who represents you at the federal government level?
Step 1: Head to the Australian Electoral Commission website's electorate search page (new window), which lets you put in your town name or postcode to search for which electorate you are in.
Step 2: Click on the electorate name to go to the information on who is the member for that electorate and which political party they belong to.
Step 3: Click on the "More information" link to get more details on the history of the electorate, including past representatives.
Step 4: Click on the link under the "Current member details" heading to go to that parliamentarian's page on the Parliament of Australia website. You might also want to do some research on their own websites to find out a bit more about them.
Step 5: Depending on what you prefer, send a letter, make a phone call or write an email to your federal representatives. Check out our Write a letter to a politician and Write an email to a politician pages for more tips and advice on this step.
Now you know who to talk to, what next?
Now that you know who you want to talk to about your issue, the next step is to get in touch with them. Check out our Write a letter to a politician and Write an email to a politician pages for more tips and advice.
For more information about getting through to government, check out the Who can help me? page on the Victorian Electoral Commission's Passport to Democracy website.