Pressing ‘SUBMIT’ and sending in your submission is not the end of the process. If you have the time and energy, there are a couple of different ways you can make your submission keep working. (I’m going to keep using the tax paper submission as an example. If you are making submissions on other subjects or to other levels of government, the same kind of things apply.)
- Take your submission to your Federal MP – this means sending it to their office, with a note about what your submission is for, and why you wrote it. If you are keen to take it further, make an appointment with your MP to show them your submission and have a chat with them.
- Again, this is about telling your story, and giving your MP an anecdote to share with colleagues. Putting a face to the policies they are implementing is far more persuasive than an email on a petition. And most MPs are actually rather nice people who work incredibly hard – check when Parliament is sitting and make a time with their office for when they are home.
- Send your submission to your state/territory Senators – look up which Senators represent your state or territory, then pop your submission both in the post and in an email. Again, include a cover letter that tells the Senator about who you are and why you think they should read your submission.
- Include the cross-benchers when you are sending your ideas around. The Greens Senators portfolios are listed here, and you can have a look at the different interests of the other cross-benchers on their websites. An email to them, with a bit about yourself and your suggestions, is a great way to let them know what you think about the tax paper. And perhaps give them something to think about when they are casting their vote.
- Post on your social media pages that you’ve made a submission and why. Talk to your friends about the process, and why you did it. Write to your local paper. Spread the word.
- Send the submission to any relevant organisations that are advocating for similar things.
Having a say about the tax system is something we should all be able to do, not just those who can work the system, or do this full-time. I’m not saying this is the only way to do a submission, nor a comprehensive guide, but hopefully it helps a bit. Do let me know how you go!