With the NSW State Election coming in late March, AAEE NSW is encouraging all voters to be informed about the sustainability and environmental education policies of the candidates running in your electorate.
Whether you encounter a candidate at a meet and greet, or email them specifically to seek their views, it’s important to give some thought to your questions for them. Feel free to use some of the ones we have suggested below, or hone in on something that is bubbling away in your region. A simple question to each could be “how are you working to reduce your personal ecological footprint?” This is definitely a conversation starter!
Here are some steps to actively engaging with the coming election and your local representatives:
- Think about what priorities are important to you and your community - The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has put together a great report called A Cleaner, Greener NSW which outlines the most important environmental measures the next government needs to take which may help frame some thoughts for you.
- Find your local candidate’s contact details - Visit the NSW Electoral Commission Register of Candidates to find the names of your State candidates. If you don’t know your State electoral district, you can check it here. Once you know the names of your local candidates, a quick internet search of their name should bring up their contact email. Or you can find major party candidates details at these sites: Liberal, Greens, Labor
- Decide on your email content - some suggestions for questions to your candidates could be:
- How are you working to reduce your own ecological footprint?
- What is your policy to ensure the NSW community is engaged and learning to make the change to a sustainable future?
- Young people are advocating for Governments to act on climate change. What action will you take?
- (For Sydney educators) - Citizen Science has lost Streamwatch as a program. What will you do to reinstate a program to connect communities to their local waterways?
- The NSW Sustainable Schools program was an initiative supported by the Government. How do you propose to support the NSW Sustainable Schools program now that it has been passed to the NSW State Chapter of the Australian Association for Environmental Education?
- The NSW Environmental Trust has supported environmental educators with environmental education funding. How will you support the continuation and growth of this program?
- How do you propose to action a future-focussed curriculum in schools that values environmental education?
- Your local questions
If you aren’t able to pull together your own email, you could consider contacting your local candidate through one of the template contact forms set up by local environmental organisations. If you resonate with what they’re saying, you just have to fill in your details and select your location. Check out:
- Make NSW Plastic Bag Free submission through Bye Bye Plastic Bags
- A Cleaner, Greener NSW submission through NCC NSW