Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

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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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by BNA » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:01 pm

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Bicyc-what? » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:52 pm

Howdy guys,

I'm a brand new member and this thread prompted me join up and post (although I'm also just getting into cycling at the moment for the first time).

I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in with regards to lobbying your local MP to get something done. I work for an MP and deal with tons of queries like this every day.

1. Short and sweet. Most MPs are quite intelligent and can put 2 and 2 together. Hell, I've even seen some do multiplication tables. As such, you don't need to worry about spelling everything out for them. Make your two strongest points and use your strongest example. Also, there's nothing more annoying than receiving a relative thesis in an email when I need to be dealing with the phone calls, emails, media queries, policy work, office administration and all of the letter responses I need to write every day.

2. Don't be melodramatic or hysterical. Electorate officers deal with so many sad stories and near-hopeless situations that they become desensitized to it. If you are articulate and cogent, I am far more likely to put the letter I front of the member's eyes than if you tell me it's the end of the world. I'm also far more likely to take a proper interest in your situation and passionately work towards a solution.

3. Outline what you'd like as an outcome. Far too many people approach an electorate office, have their say on an issue and dont know what they want done about it, so outline some tangible outcomes and put them to the member. What do you want us to do for you? Is it within a Member of Parliament's powers? Often all we can do is make a representation to the appropriate minister and wait for an outcome. That representation, though, often holds more weight coming from an MP as it lets the minister know that the MP has personally taken an interest in the matter.

4. Don't go out of your way to criticize the MP's stance or perceived inaction on the issue and definitely do not be hostile. Also, be sagacious about your political leanings - MPs love to think they can win your vote by helping you out. By the same token, don't assume an MP is with you or against you. All MPs have their interests and none are entirely beholden to their party's policies - I've seen a few cases where MPs have actively campaigned against their own government's policy. And won.

5. Medium medium medium. Visit trumps letter trumps email trumps website/Facebook/twitter comment. Always address your communication directly to the minister/member/leader - CCs are often taken as being an FYI and are often ignored. Don't use silly fonts, pictures of colors either.

6. NEVER use chain or campaign emails that all have the same content. If I get an email that is exactly the same as 50 others in my inbox, I'll send 51 identical responses. Take the time to write to me, show me you're genuinely interested, and I'll take my time out for you.

7. Be patient. Government, like politics, is slow boring through hard boards. I got a letter today from a minister I made a rep to 5 months ago. Go figure.

At the risk of breaking rule number 1 I'll leave it there. So while you will (or should) always receive a response from your local member, doing the above will make your life and our lives far easier.

Cycling is an issue that, by my reckoning, needs government attention. Clearly there are issues at the moment concerning responsibility and accountability, as well as cyclists feeling like they're being ignored. So make your voice heard because that's te only way things will change.

Looking forward to posting a bit more kn here, so until then...
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby AndyTheMan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:05 am

I remember the goold old days when lobbying an MP went a lot like this:



Wat da we want ?? - better protection for cyclists

When do we want it ?? - [NOW!!]
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby g-boaf » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:36 pm

Unfortunate thing is that you can only get action now through mass-protest. :( All too often your letter goes nowhere. Otherwise, visit in person and demand an audience, and be persistant

Where I live in Sydney, we have similar issues. Great bus services getting people to the station, but they are overcrowded and everyone still uses cars. :( It'd be nice for them to choke up some important roads with a cycling lane on each side.

That may make some difference.

Hope you mend soon. My back is busted up as well, though I didn't need surgery after my fall.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby sumgy » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:46 pm

Oxford wrote:I have received the new dribble from Murray Watt wanting to know how to improve another intersection (happens to be right outside his electoral office). Personally the only issue is too many single occupant morons in their vehicles. I say choke the intersection and make people consider alternative options like public transport. An example being we have a suitable bus service through our suburb. But too many people drive to a local railway station to catch a train, the bus service goes right past the same train station. So every time they improve the car park, more people stop catching the bus and drive to the station.Image


Ox, you and I disagree on lots of stuff but this is one time I think I am almost on the same page as you.
I think the current amount of car related infrastructure work on the Northside is nothing short of criminal.
Here is my post from the QLD forum on BNA about this issue:

sumgy wrote:Northside people.
Good luck with us getting any bike infrastructure in a hurry given the current amounts of car related infrastructure currently underway.
Widening of the Wardell Street/Samford Road intersection.
Widening of Beckett Road which will ultimately mean an upgrade of the Rode Road roundabout due to the increased traffic flows from Beckett Road.
And now a push for a bypass through Flockton Street joining Old Northern Road and Stafford Road by Murray Watt (probably because he knows that the upgrade of Beckett Road is going to mean even greater pressure on the Old Northern Road/Stafford Road intersection).

http://murraywattmp.com/01_cms/details.asp?ID=68
http://murraywattmp.com/01_cms/details.asp?ID=65
[email protected]

[email protected]

If you are like me and think that this continued motor vehicle infrastructure is a poor solution to the traffic problem then I suggest that you write to both Murray Watt and Tim Mander to voice your displeasure.

I did this just this week:
Tim
I have just sent the below email to Murray Watt but felt that I should also send this same correspondence to your office for a response.
This “rant” has arisen from the article that I have read today in the Northern Times along with the articles on Murray’s website.
I want my 3 boys to be able to live in a city that they and their children can be proud to live in. Not some tunnelled, overpassed LA style mess.

I have copied my email to Murray word for word.

I am sorry Murray but the proposed bypass and all of the other traffic infrastructure “solves” nothing.
It is time to make a hard decision and actually do something that will be in the interests of our suburbs rather than take the easy route and continue to band aid the real problem which is that we have far too many people using our roads and far too few workable alternative options.
The tunnels and bypasses that we are seeing spring up all over Brisbane will give us a temporary fix but it has been proven in the past that these “fixes” ultimately end up just as crowded as the previous problem.
Yes it is the popular choice by your voters who refuse to entertain alternatives but I do not believe it should be your job to take the popular option (although I do recognise that if you don’t stay popular, you don’t stay).
When will it be time to say enough is enough with roads?
How many suburbs do we need to destroy?
Kedron is almost there, along with large sections along Lutwyche Road.
Wooloowin is suffering too.
Enoggera and now Everton Park?

Out further we have major widening of Becketts Road that ultimately will funnel into the Rode Roundabout.
I can see the next project being a rebuild of this roundabout as it will not cope with the extra traffic flows that will come.
Not so much your area but the upgrade of Gap Creek Road has led to substantial increases to traffic via that route and through The Gap.
Hamilton Road from Old Northern Road through to Chermside has seen likewise.
I cannot think of a single time when additional vehicle infrastructure has seen an ongoing improvement to traffic flow.

The problem is not roads.
It is traffic.
It is the people that use these roads.
And it is these people that need to be re-educated about their actions and “actively encouraged” to use the alternatives.
Providing free and improved access to the CBD does nothing to this end.

Not sure if you have ever seen this video and information, but perhaps it is time for our governments (local, State and Federal) to start thinking about this.

It worked in San Francisco, Portland Oregon and in Seoul Korea so there is absolutely no reason it cannot work here.
Jeffery Kenworthy, from our Curtin University and who was involved in the Korean Cheonggyecheon project effectively says in the attached video, that traffic behaves like a gas and will expand across all infrastructure until it is clogged regardless of how much infrastructure is provided. So ultimately you are trying to “solve” a puzzle that cannot be solved by adding more roadways.

http://daily.sightline.org/2011/04/01/g ... -in-seoul/

http://www.infrastructurist.com/2009/07 ... ve-a-city/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtV1M0Cv ... r_embedded

More public transport at the expense of car lanes is what is needed along with improved cycling infrastructure (up from basically none in our Northern suburbs despite the much talked about bikeway program).
I hope that you actually spend the time to read and watch the links provided and then spend some time thinking about what is being said and how similar our current situation is to these cases.
Then take the time to work out how you (and others in power) can actually FIX the problem rather than taking the popular option.
Don’t be one of our politicians who are remembered for creating more ugly LA style fly overs.

I look forward to your response
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby trailgumby » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:01 pm

Nice work sumgy.

Saw that bit on Cheongyyecheong (sp?) awhile back thanks to a link posted here... pretty awesome stuff.

I've just spent much of the week down in Melbourne with my daughter, and I love the way they have prioritised trams, buses, cyclists pedestrians, almost anything else ahead of cars. And guess what? The traffic levels are low, what there is of it flows freely but at a sedate pace, the streets people-friendly, and people are actually returning to live IN the city. The free City Circle tram made getting around really easy and stress free. Just buy a day ticket and you could use it across all modes of public transport, none of this separate bus/train/ferry tickets rubbish we put up with in Sydney.

We loved it.

Compare that to dirty, aggressive, snarly Sydney ... :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby sumgy » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:06 pm

trailgumby wrote:Nice work sumgy.

Saw that bit on Cheongyyecheong (sp?) awhile back thanks to a link posted here... pretty awesome stuff.

I've just spent much of the week down in Melbourne with my daughter, and I love the way they have prioritised trams, buses, cyclists pedestrians, almost anything else ahead of cars. And guess what? The traffic levels are low, what there is of it flows freely but at a sedate pace, the streets people-friendly, and people are actually returning to live IN the city. The free City Circle tram made getting around really easy and stress free - just buy a day ticket and you could use it across all modes.

We loved it.

Compare that to dirty, aggressive, snarly Sydney ... :roll: :roll: :roll:


Yep, I posted the video here in the past.
I have family that lives in Port Melbourne.
They tell me that Peak Hour in Melbourne is more like Peak Half Hour because of the public transport and other alternative transport options.
The problem that will arise from our current approach is that more and more people will be happy to live further out and commute as they have free and improved transport to get them there.
I think back to when I was a kid.
Ipswich was a huge trip, The Gold Coast was even more so.
These days we have people commuting that trip every day and when they start to bleat about congestion the gutless politicians create more infrastructure so that the spiral can continue.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby sumgy » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:15 pm

Well, well, well:

Hi Stephen

Apologies for the slow reply. Murray would like to discuss this with you further. Would it be possible for you to send us a phone number so that Murray can give you a call?

Thanks very much


Chris Steer
Everton Electorate
for Murray Watt MP
State Member for Everton
Parliamentary Secretary to Treasurer and for
State Development
Phone 3855 1133 www.murraywattmp.com
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby sumgy » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:14 pm

Hmmmmm, a little different to the tone of my conversation with him.
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Re: Open letter to my local MP Murray Watt

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:29 am

Oxf, sounds like you had a very productive conversation with him. Yes, he might not get anywhere this time, but this is exactly what is required for what the media calls "a swelling of public opinion". There are very few people actually involved in shaping politics, and while this might not get things moving, if there are a dozen similar conversations, that will create some motion. There is clear policy motivation to get what you are after - it just needs more enthusiasm to implement.

You've just lobbied your local MP. Well done!
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