Who To Contact
Who’s who – finding out who to deal with on your issue
Which level of government or organisation has jurisdiction (responsibility) for the issue?
Is it a political or officer approach that’s needed?
It also helps to ask: who has an interest in helping on the issue?
Who has jurisdiction (responsibility)?
Australia has three levels of government: national, state and local (council). Most cycling issues are state, some local. Each issue page lists the level of government and/or organisations responsible.
Local (Council): parking enforcement, maintenance of local roads and footpaths, cleansing, street trees, allowing events, parks, libraries, town planning and building regulation.
State (NSW): health, public transport, law and order (eg. road rules), state roads, vehicle registration and accident insurance, traffic signals, speed limits, education, tourism, environmental protection, housing, consumer affairs, emergency services, workplace safety.
Note there are also some regional authorities such as the Greater Sydney Commission, and Regional Organisations of Councils. Where it is a company (for example a freight company or developer) or land-owner (eg university) responsibility, there will be laws and rules which apply and you can refer to.
More information on levels of government and you can google “what level of government is responsible for…”.
Should I go through the politician or to the organisation?
Local government (council) has elected councillors.
State government has an elected member of parliament (MP) to represent each local area (electorate).
It is the role of an organisation (council or state department/authority) to carry out responsibilities under existing legislation. Contact the organisation to make a complaint or suggestion (eg council when street trees need trimming, RMS if traffic signals aren’t working).
The role of elected officials is to set policy direction (like a company board) and make/change legislation. Contact your councillor or local state MP with policy or budget suggestions, or to complain the organisation is not satisfactorily fulfilling their duty (eg suggesting a new policy on fair time for bicycle phasing at traffic signals, or a complaint that RMS are not responding or not responding well enough).
For example, report close passing to police. Report police inaction in the first instance to the commander of the police station. But make suggestions about improvements to legislation and policy, or complaints about police inaction, to your local state MP.