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 introduction of ‘ePetitions’ is intended to bring the people of NSW closer to their parliament, and follows the passing of a new sessional order to allow electronic petitions to be submitted and presented to the House.
petitionING the parliament
Petitioning the parliament is an important democratic right. It’s a direct way members of the public can officially raise issues with the parliament, and request that the House consider and take certain actions – such as introducing or amending state laws.
By going digital, the Upper House is opening the petitioning process up, making it simpler, and hopefully encouraging more people to participate.
ePetitions are now an option alongside the traditional pen-and-clipboard approach, and can be created or signed by any resident of NSW using a name and email address. It’s easy to share a digital petition far and wide, so it can be signed by people right across the state.
The parliament’s ePetitions platform is also a safe and secure way to petition. The details of people who sign a petition remain confidential, and email information is only used to keep people up to date with their petition’s progress.
The progress of a petition
Once live on the parliament’s website here, an Upper House ePetition can collect signatures for one, three or 12 weeks (a timeframe set by the petition creator).
When the petition closes, it’s presented to the Legislative Council by a member of the House who has been nominated by the original petitioner, and who has agreed to do so.
A tabled petition is also provided directly to the relevant government minister for their consideration, with the minister required to make a formal response via the House if the petition has more than 500 signatures.
There have been close to 50 petitions presented since the start of the current session of parliament in 2019, and with the digital gates now open, we hope we’ll see many more.
For more on the ePetitions process, including how to start your own, watch the video below and visit www.bit.ly/about-petitioning.
A VIDEO OVERVIEW
Here’s how ePetitioning works: