How to engage your local MP

21 Feb 2022


We encourage all AMA Queensland members and concerned citizens to write to and meet with your local State and Federal Members of Parliament (MPs) to voice your concerns regarding the North Queensland Scope of Practice Pilot.

What is my electorate and who is my MP?

You need to contact your MP’s office and request a meeting. You can find the state electorate you live or work in by visiting the Electoral Commission Queensland and entering your address in the search bar. Once you know your electorate, refer to the Queensland Parliament member list to find your state MP and their contact details.

Find your state electorate

Queensland Parliament MPs

To find your federal electorate visit the Australian Electoral Commission and you can find your MP’s contact details at the Parliament of Australia member list.

Find your federal electorate

Federal MP contact details
 

How do I make the most out of a meeting with my MP?

  1. It is likely that you will only have a short amount of time to discuss your issue, so it is important to be clear and concise in what you are asking for. (As a guide 30 minutes is a common appointment length – but this should always be clarified so that best use is made of whatever time you have available).
     
  2. If you know other doctors or concerned citizens who share your concerns, organise a small team to attend the meeting. This will give you strength in numbers and provide moral support. Even better if you can organise representatives of other groups concerned about the issue. This will help to show your MP that the issue has wider community opposition.
     
  3. Start the meeting on the right foot by arriving on time and dressing appropriately. Like you, MPs are busy and need manage many competing demands so respect their time and other commitments. 
     
  4. Start by introducing yourself and thanking your MP for taking the time to meet with you. Remember to speak clearly, politely and audibly and maintain good eye contact. Be passionate but respectful.
     
  5. Make sure you know how to pronounce their name and which party they belong to.
     
  6. Make sure you have the latest information on the North Queensland Scope of Practice Pilot and know your key points opposing the plan. You can do this by visiting keeping an eye on our website and the North Queensland Scope of Practice Trial webpage. Whilst no one expects you to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the plan, a good understanding of the issue coupled with your own professional knowledge will be very persuasive.
     
  7. Be confident about what you do know and offer to get back to them on anything you may need to research. Saying “I don’t know” is always better than making points you cannot substantiate.
     
  8. Let them know your concerns about the proposal to expand pharmacists’ scope of practice. Be clear as to why you have concerns and the dangers it poses not only to patient care but to the broader health system. Back it up with your own experience as a doctor.
     
  9. Remember, your MP is there to represent you regardless of how much they know about your issue. The most important reason for meeting with your MP is simply that you care about the issue and that you are their constituent who lives or works in the electorate they represent.
     
  10. As the meeting ends, ask your MP to advise the Minister for Health about your concerns. Ask them to commit to doing so and to report back when they have taken action and you look forward to their follow up.
     
  11. Even if your MP does not support your position, being asked to justify their differing view is a valuable and fundamental part of the democratic process.}
     
  12. Make sure your MP honours their commitments to you. If you do not hear anything within a month, give their office a call or write to ask them whether they have taken the action they committed to take. Once again, persistence is the key.

Elements of this page have been adapted from advice originally written by the RACP and Oxfam Australia.


Published: 21 Feb 2022