Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

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Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:10 pm

Following last weeks incident I have decided to write yet again to my local member. My last letter in February has been basically ignored. Hopefully this time with a few more interested parties in the loop it may gain some traction and we will see some action. If anyone is interested, the letter can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16U_ ... t?hl=en_US

I will be mailing it tomorrow.
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by BNA » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:25 am

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Aushiker » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:25 am

Oxford wrote:Following last weeks incident I have decided to write yet again to my local member. My last letter in February has been basically ignored. Hopefully this time with a few more interested parties in the loop it may gain some traction and we will see some action. If anyone is interested, the letter can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16U_ ... t?hl=en_US

I will be mailing it tomorrow.


Hi

Well written letter, however, I did pick up on typo and I would qualify your reference to Europe. Europe is a very big place and it is not safe to ride in Europe, it is "safe" to ride in some cities/maybe countries. You point is good but the claim should be tone down and/or supported with crediable evidence.

Oh the typo is the missing "is" between "me AND seemingly" in the following sentence

The most frightening of the three however, a road rage incident and aggressive use of a motor vehicle (registration 945-LVP) towards me seemingly unable to be dealt with by the police.

All the best with it.

Andrew
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby brades68 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:01 pm

Ox, good luck.
i have taken the liberty of printing it off and giving it to one of the bogans in my office.....'"you don't pay Rego, take up the Road, etc etc' and told them to read it and pass it onto the other bogans so they may get an understanding of what their actions can lead to for the cyclists they could one day hit.

Now, if someone is aware of a car drivers perspective after hitting a cyclist (or Ped) i think that'd get some airtime as well in my office.

Hope things improve

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:54 pm

Thanks guys, Andrew, sorry it had been mailed before I saw your reply, oh well not too bad for a four page letter.

Brades68, if it makes one of them stop and think and not do something silly, then that is all we can hope for.

Womble hand delivered the letter to the Minister for Transport today, signed copy is on the way as well. If and when I get any responses I will update this thread.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby trailgumby » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:22 pm

Makes me sad and upset reading that. I hope you get some traction.

Edit: Erm, bad pun. I meant action from the pollies, not the kind they use with bone fractures. :oops:
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:26 pm

so two weeks on from sending the letter and not a single acknowledgment yet. not that I was expecting miracles mind you, but even a simple thank you for your letter would be nice. though in between sentences I did check on the response time of the last letter I wrote and an email response took 3 weeks to get, so maybe I am expecting a miracle.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Aushiker » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:35 pm

Oxford wrote:so two weeks on from sending the letter and not a single acknowledgment yet. not that I was expecting miracles mind you, but even a simple thank you for your letter would be nice. though in between sentences I did check on the response time of the last letter I wrote and an email response took 3 weeks to get, so maybe I am expecting a miracle.


In my experience letters to Ministers and MPs are generally no longer acknowledged (the concept of manners is going by the way it seems) and that Departments can also be vague. Also more often than not there is correlation between the quality of review of the issue and the response time so hopefully this will pan out with you as well :)

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Aenveigh » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:57 pm

Don't expect a reply quickly. 3 weeks is fast in government, especially if it's referred to a department for consultation. If the reply is going to be substantive and not a form letter (unlikely in this case) expect longer, as someone is probably actually trying to address the issues rather than just give you stock words. Even if you get something that sounds generic back, someone will have registered the issue.

If you can, get your family and work mates to write letters in too. Get then to keep them short (2 pages max) and to the point. What is the problem, and what are you seeking? If these are easy to determine, it's easier for the local member / Minister to respond and realise there's an issue which many of his/her constituents care about. Steer clear of any sarcasm or anything that could be construed as other than plain speaking. Get them to double check for typos, spelling and all that - something clean and professional is more likely to get taken seriously.

Something like:

===============

Dear (local member)

I was deeply concerned at the recent hospitalisation of [Oxford] following an impatient motorist's using their vehicle to strike him from behind. He is lucky to have reasonable prospects for rehabilitation, but it could have been worse. I understand he may have written to you regarding this matter.

I am writing to ask that you take this matter very seriously and do your utmost to ensure no person, or their famililes, have to endure the shock, pain and horror that must have been experienced by him and his family as a result of this crime. You might like to contact him to hear for yourself what he has gone through.

I consider that the kind of behaviour displayed in this incident is symptomatic of a broader culture of motorists versus cyclists, and ask that you consider opportunities for improving the education of all road users regarding their responsibilities, particularly those using motorised vehicles as these have the greatest potential to cause serious injury, or death. I also ask that you familiarise yourself, if you are not already, with 'complete', or 'safe' street design, which through good design and infrastructure encourages the shared use of our public roads by pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicles. Taken together these measures improve the safety of all road users and could substantially reduce the lkelihood of future tragedies like this.

I would be grateful for your reply on this serious concern.

Regards

[friend / supporter / relative etc]

======

It's better that they don't all send in exactly the same letter, as 'campaign mail' doesn't always require a reply. If it's not the same enough, a separate reply will typically be required. This keeps it at the top of mind. Good luck!
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:10 am

you're right, I should really know better. I have a friend who works in government and we lunch once a week usually. he is often the one replying to letters like mine for his minister and he tells me all about them (generically of course). might take up your suggestion and set up a letter for wife and eldest daughter, different of course and get them to sign them and send them.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby GraemeL » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:55 am

Oxford wrote:you're right, I should really know better. I have a friend who works in government and we lunch once a week usually. he is often the one replying to letters like mine for his minister and he tells me all about them (generically of course). might take up your suggestion and set up a letter for wife and eldest daughter, different of course and get them to sign them and send them.


Why don't some of us here do the same for you? I would be willing to help out, although I'm in Perth, but that shouldn'e matter.
You do the letter though and provide the addy etc and I will print it, sign it and post it.

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Aushiker » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:26 am

Hi

For what it is worth; now joining you in a new batch of letter writing. It is, regretfully, my turn to formally complain about a Police Officer's attitude/lack of action in relation to four incidents that I recently reported to South West Metro Traffic (Fremantle) Station.

Two are marginal but should have elicited at least a formal warning, i.e., a proactive response. The other two were more serious (no injuries but which seems to be the minimum now for action). In one incident where I was turning right in my lane and the driver in the right lane who was also turning right cut straight over to me, cutting me off. The response from the Constable (and supported by his Sergeant and Acting Sergeant) was that I should be more careful and use the cycling path (I have the voice mail where he states this)! Ah I am clearly in my lane, not diverging from my line, not obstructing anyone, and I should be more careful! I asked him if this would be acceptable if I was in a car? His response, well it wouldn't happen because I would be bigger!

The second involving a Transperth bus was the second of its type at the same intersection. I initially took up the issue with the Public Transport Authority (PTA) (and now the Minister, Local MPs :)) as I didn't have good video of the incident (just the audio) so didn't bother with the Police. The PTA's initial response was take it up with the Police. Guess what the Constable's response was with the second incident? Take it up with the bus company.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I did advise the Constable that I would take up my concerns with the Assistant Commissioner. I don't think he really understood the implications as it will be treated as a formal complaint with the Minister and relevant Local MPs involved (and Channel Nine as they interviewed me over the "dangers of riding on the road" and using a "camera"). Hopefully that will stir the pot and improve the attitude of South West Metro.

Andrew
Last edited by Aushiker on Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Aushiker » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:28 am

GraemeL wrote:Why don't some of us here do the same for you? I would be willing to help out, although I'm in Perth, but that shouldn'e matter.
You do the letter though and provide the addy etc and I will print it, sign it and post it.


It can be a good idea. I did something similar with Oxford's Optus issue. Don't know if it helped or not, but he got a good outcome; probably more so from his own efforts and good policing but.

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby GraemeL » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:24 pm

I am all for helping others to get things done, as should we all.Although I am not very good at putting pen to paper (poor literacy skills), but if one is drafted up and I can sign and send it I will.
Same applies to you Andrew, if I can help with a letter, I will. Just type it up and email it to me. Maybe if these people start getting an influx of complaints they might sit up and take notice, It sure wouldn't hurt.

I heard on the news this morning, that Main Roads are going to install more arrows at traffic lights, because drivers were not giving way to pedestrians. the RAC is against it, saying that education is the key and not arrows.
It may be time to try and voice our opinion on the need to educate drivers on all road rules not just pedestrians.

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Aushiker » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:45 pm

GraemeL wrote:I heard on the news this morning, that Main Roads are going to install more arrows at traffic lights, because drivers were not giving way to pedestrians. the RAC is against it, saying that education is the key and not arrows. It may be time to try and voice our opinion on the need to educate drivers on all road rules not just pedestrians.


Read this in the West this morning as well. I was particularly disappointed with the response from the Opposition Spokesman who was more concerned about frustrating drivers than pedestrians (read vulnerable road users). Whilst the "solution" may not be ideal and education a better option, frustrating drivers shouldn't be more important than the risk of injuring or worse a vulnerable road user. A certain forum member should have a chat to his boss I think :wink:

With respect to the RAC it is doing a lot of work with vulnerable user groups. I have, as has RolandP, now been involved with two cycling related forums organised by the RAC and a third is coming up.

Graeme I think you would have no problem articulating your views to the relevant people including your local MP, Ministers, Police Commissioner and so on.

Regards
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby wellington_street » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:17 pm

Great to hear that RAC is against it! It is a terrible move.

I recently had a few intersections that I use as a pedestrian regularly have walk/dont walk signals installed. Now instead of crossing legally at any point during the green phase, I'm now forced to stop, press button and wait until the lights go through their full cycle before I cross legally. Of course I just keep doing what pedestrians do, I 'jaywalk' (always safely and never impeding those who have right of way). If Main Roads keeps doing this then they are basically telling pedestrians to jaywalk.

In my view, traffic signals are pretty unnecessary for most pedestrians who are capable of crossing safely in an uncontrolled environment. They are really only useful for those with mobility issues (anything from being elderly, disabled or simply carrying a load that restricts your agility) to get a safe passage across.

Again, educating and getting tough on the dumb sh*t drivers who don't understand or don't care about the road rules is the way to go here.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby elantra » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:29 pm

Oxford wrote:so two weeks on from sending the letter and not a single acknowledgment yet. not that I was expecting miracles mind you, but even a simple thank you for your letter would be nice. though in between sentences I did check on the response time of the last letter I wrote and an email response took 3 weeks to get, so maybe I am expecting a miracle.

I suggest you consider contacting his office and request an appointment perhaps.
I was able to get an appointment earlier this year with my local member (Andrew Fraser) to discuss my concerns.
It took a few weeks to get an appointment but we got to have a good chat about various things, mostly concerning road safety issues.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:08 pm

elantra wrote:
Oxford wrote:so two weeks on from sending the letter and not a single acknowledgment yet. not that I was expecting miracles mind you, but even a simple thank you for your letter would be nice. though in between sentences I did check on the response time of the last letter I wrote and an email response took 3 weeks to get, so maybe I am expecting a miracle.

I suggest you consider contacting his office and request an appointment perhaps.
I was able to get an appointment earlier this year with my local member (Andrew Fraser) to discuss my concerns.
It took a few weeks to get an appointment but we got to have a good chat about various things, mostly concerning road safety issues.
Steve

Good idea, I have to wait a few weeks before I know what I am allowed to do, so will look into a personal one on one meeting, thanks for the suggestion.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:22 pm

Mate, you're welcome to attend our next meeting!
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:41 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:Mate, you're welcome to attend our next meeting!

I still do not have clearance to go to work, so if I went to the meeting I jeopardise my WorkCover unfortunately. Thanks for the offer though.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:01 pm

Oxford wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:Mate, you're welcome to attend our next meeting!

I still do not have clearance to go to work, so if I went to the meeting I jeopardise my WorkCover unfortunately. Thanks for the offer though.

So how a you going to be able to anyone else hmmm? The offer is open ended
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:17 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:
Oxford wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:Mate, you're welcome to attend our next meeting!

I still do not have clearance to go to work, so if I went to the meeting I jeopardise my WorkCover unfortunately. Thanks for the offer though.

So how a you going to be able to anyone else hmmm? The offer is open ended

Thanks, when I have clearance, I'll be in contact.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:28 pm

Well kudos to Can Do Campbell for being the first to respond. I didn't really expect much from him being the outsider, but the fact he simply responded in a timely manner gives him some credibility. Although he did get the response a little wrong as I was writing with regard to the immediate incident in September not the February ones (I referenced the February letter). All addressees know who received the letter, one would have thought the incumbent MP would have at least tried to send a letter of acknowledgement explaining that a detailed response would be forthcoming.

Copy of the Can Do response here:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid= ... m&hl=en_US
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:28 pm

I'll write to the MP as well I think. Partnership Oxford?
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Max » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:55 pm

Wow, that response from Can Do was nothing more than a campaign promo. Shameful.

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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Oxford » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:36 am

Max wrote:Wow, that response from Can Do was nothing more than a campaign promo. Shameful.

Max

Yeah, I didn't expect much more, I mean what can he really do except promote the LNP? Its an interesting exercise. Hopefully Monday my GP will clear me to go back to work even if only for short periods of time. Then I'll get onto Murray for a personal meeting.
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