More voices to be heard in the NSW Upper House with new, digital petitions

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Media Release: NSW Legislative Council launches digital petitioning platform

Petitioning the NSW Upper House has never been easier, with a new digital petitioning platform launched this week at www.bit.ly/e-petitioning.

The President of the NSW Legislative Council, Matthew Mason-Cox, said the introduction of ‘ePetitions’ will help bring the people of NSW closer to their parliament.

“Lodging a petition with the Upper House allows members of the public to officially raise issues with the parliament, and to suggest that we take certain actions,” Mr Mason-Cox said. “It’s the only direct way to do so, and an important democratic right. By going digital, we’re opening the petitioning process up, making it simpler, and hopefully encouraging more people to get involved.”

Now an option alongside the traditional pen-and-clipboard approach, digital petitions can be created or signed by any resident of NSW using a name and email address.

“It’s easy to share an ePetition far and wide, and with a simple link it can be signed by people right across the state,” said Mr Mason-Cox. “It’s also a secure platform. The details of people who have signed remain confidential, and the email information is only used to keep people up to date with their petition’s progress.”

And just how does a petition progress? Once an Upper House petition closes, it’s presented to the Legislative Council by a member of the House (a person nominated by the original petitioner). It’s also provided directly to the relevant government minister for their consideration, with the minister required to table a formal response in the House if the petition has more than 500 signatures.

“Petitions allow community voices to be heard,” said Mr Mason-Cox. “We’ve had close to 50 petitions presented since the start of this 57th session of parliament, and I hope that with the digital gates now thrown open, we continue to see many more.”

For more on the process, including how to start your own ePetition, visit www.bit.ly/about-e- petitioning. As new ePetitions are created, a list of petitions able to be signed digitally will also be available from this link.

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