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Ministers ignoring public requests

By nyssa76 - 23 May 2006 45

Several months ago I wrote to Vicki Dunne asking for her advice and ability to bring these issues of staff breaching the Code of Conduct within the ACT Department of Education to the Minister, then Katy Gallagher.

Oh the stories I could tell, and most likely will because no one in the current Govt or Opposition actually gives a sh*t about why staff are actually leaving the system – and no it isn’t the pay or the students. Note: This has nothing to do with staff misconduct with students.

To date, I have not received anything back, either via e-mail, phone or letter.

Kerces, I know you have had a few successful (and unsuccessful) feedback sessions with Ministers. I was wondering, who do you go to then when they don’t respond?

What’s Your opinion?

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45 Responses to
Ministers ignoring public requests
caf 5:38 pm 24 May 06

Try sending a paper letter rather than an email, much harder to ignore.

Mr Evil 4:34 pm 24 May 06

“Looked into” = we’ll do nothing and hope you’ll forget about it.

nyssa76 4:28 pm 24 May 06

I should also say that I was told it would be looked into but seeing as it is now 11+ months later, I doubt anything has been done.

nyssa76 4:27 pm 24 May 06

I called from June last year and finally with an e-mail this year. I must have sent a few e-mails and called a few times but still nothing.

To answer someone re: CEO of the Dept of Ed…well they change so often you never know who it is, besides, the Dept DON’T want teachers to speak out about the problems because it “looks bad” on the Dept.

Seeing as it’s June next week, this has been 12 months in the making.

The problem is staff misconduct with the code of conduct towards other teachers, irrespective of their position in a school.

I’d LOVE to know why, when the issues are eventually dealt with (and not all of them are) that the perpertrators are given cushy jobs either in a “good” school or within the Dept.

Ok, now I have to go to a meeting.

I was going to not name names or schools but I feel that people have a right to know exactly what is going on in the Dept.

areaman 11:39 am 24 May 06

I think you’ll find that minister’s staffers are “” backbench staffers are “”

Kerces 10:43 am 24 May 06

Further to GuruJ’s comment, be sure to get the correct spelling of the person’s full name — all the parliamentary staffers’ emails are

GuruJ 10:40 am 24 May 06

Going public is not always the right option, since that will get the Minister offside.

Politicians are busy. You can’t just fire off a single email or letter and guarantee a timely response.

If you want a response from a Minister, the process is simple:

Write to them. The letter should be one page or less. Clearly state what action you want taken.
Wait a week.
If there is no response, call the Minister’s office. Get the name of the person who answers. Ask, “has the Minister received my letter?”
If yes, ask when a response will be forthcoming.
If no, email the letter through to the staff member straight away.
Then, keep following up via phone until you get a response.

If your timeframe is urgent:

Send message via email and follow up with a phone call that same day.
Explain (politely) why a response is urgent. Follow up daily until you get a response.

Sure, in an ideal world you’d get a guaranteed response to everything. In reality, a lot of people write letters to Ministers because they are bored, mad or just like making trouble.

Again: If the issue really matters to you, follow it up. Yes, it’s more effort on your part. Yes, you need to use the telephone. Tough — the squeaky wheel gets the grease in this situation.

Kerces 10:40 am 24 May 06

When I have been in touch with MLAs before it has always been as a member of the media, whether that be RA or NowUC or something else, so I’m really not sure how to get your concerns as a constituent heard. I think posting here is a good start because certainly some MLAs read us regularly and the message may get passed on.

As far as how I’ve gotten to talk to politicians, I always start from the Legislative Assembly site which lists general phone numbers and emails for each member. Alternatively, often on the bottom of their press releases there’s a number for their media advisor (although this probably isn’t the best way to approach them as a member of the general public).

And my main advice is to be persistant.

atnasS 10:18 am 24 May 06

I dare say every kook and nutbag in Canberra would harrass our poor MLA’s and force them to do unrational things such as answer phones whilst driving, scribble on walls, drive into vineyards pissed etc.

Perhaps we all should just them a few minutes of breathing space. Perhaps then the poor darlings might be able to actually do their job and look after the citizenry of the ACT

Thumper 9:53 am 24 May 06

Commonwealth it still is a priority.

As for the ACT government, I’m positive they just ignore anything difficult.

Big Al 9:49 am 24 May 06

It used to be that a letter to a Minister was a high priority item. Response times and outstanding letters etc used to be measured as PS performance indicators – well they were in the Commonwealth PS at least – god knows what the local council arrangements are.

DT 9:36 am 24 May 06

Why write to Vicki Dunne and not the Minister? Or the CEO of Education?

Failing that, get in touch with Elizabeth Bellamy (Education reporter at CT) or Paul Malone (public service reporter) and have a chat.

Chris S 9:03 am 24 May 06

Corbell gets (quite rightly) a caning on RA but he won’t respond to the questions that were put to him quite some time ago. Perhaps it’s time to up the tempo a bit for all the members of the Legislative Assembly, if they are not prepared to communicate with their constituents.

A couple of years ago, through an unholy deal between the major parties, and with no attempt to consult with Canberrans, they extended the terms to four years. In effect, they reduced the opportunity for the most important consultative process at all, the ballot box.

They therefore have a moral obligation to consult and communicate more than ever (one might suggest by a factor of 25%) with their constituents. Unfortunately, this mob (and I’m sure the others would be no better, based on past performance) just point-blank refuse to do so, unless it is another “spin” opportunity.

No wonder pollies are about the most distrusted occupation, as shown in the survey released yesterday.

Thumper 8:09 am 24 May 06


it worked wonders in the case of the missing cat from last year….

jr 12:42 am 24 May 06

Go public here with the issues (just cover yourself against libel)

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