Engage your local Member of Parliament (MP)
Your local member is your representative in Parliament. You are entitled to contact them to ask them where they stand on important issues and to ask them to represent your interests.
Below are some tools and guidelines for contacting your MP.
Who is your MP?
If you are uncertain who your MP is, you can find out through the Parliament of Australia website. Visit this link and enter your postal code or suburb. https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members
Contacting your MP
Clicking on the name of Senators and Members who appear in the search results from the above link will produce their contact details. You can email your MP, send them a letter by post, phone the office to have someone relay a message for you or to arrange a time to meet with your MP.
Many of our supporters ask for pre-written emails or letters to send to MPs but these are not effective. MPs are more likely to take notice of your correspondence if it is personalised, respectful and short.
You may use any content on our website if it lends weight to your letter - please see in particular, our key issues outlined below - but including your personal experience conveys how the issues we write and campaign about personally impacts you.
It is also important to keep correspondence as succinct as possible. You want to make it as easy for your MP to understand who you are, where you are from, the issue you are concerned about and most importantly, what you want them to do about it as your representative in partliament.
How to address your MP
There are protocols on how to address your MP which will assist you in making contact with them. Click here to find out details on how to address Senators and Members
Collective Shout is calling on government to act on the following key issues
Reclaim public space by reforming our advertising regulation system AND Protect children from pornography by compulsory age-verification
The everyday sexualisation and objectification of women in media, advertising and popular culture and the exposure of children to online pornography result in demonstrated harms to women and girls, men and boys, and to our community as a whole.
Despite growing awareness of and concern about these harms there has been little meaningful action at government level. It is time to put the wellbeing of the community over the vested interests of the advertising and porn industries. It is time to reclaim public space and to stop children’s too easy exposure to online pornography.
BACKGROUND - RECLAIMING PUBLIC SPACE
In 2011, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in its report ’Reclaiming public space' noted:
Many parents are concerned that their children are exposed to sexualised images and messages that they are not mature enough to digest. Many women in particular are angered by the prevalence of sexual objectification in advertising images, and the messages that these send in the public space. The Committee finds it difficult to see how such images can ever be in the public interest.
It said the ad industry should be given one last chance to clean up its act:
If the self-regulatory system is found lacking, the Committee recommends that the Attorney-General’s Department impose a self-funded co-regulatory system on advertising with government input into advertising codes of practice.
That was eight years ago.
It is time for the Federal Government to act to reclaim public space so that we don’t have to be confronted by images or words that are inappropriate for children or that treat women as sexual objects.
Objectified portrayals of women lead to a ‘diminished view of women’s competence, morality and humanity’ and have been identified as contributing to attitudes which lead to violence against women and girls.
The objectification and sexualisation of women and girls should be a central consideration in the regulation of advertising, marketing, and the media.
- The current advertising standards system has no powers of enforcement and issues no penalties for non-compliance. Repeat offenders such as Honey Birdette and Wicked Campers continue to ignore Ad Standards rulings and face no penalties.
- Only a regulatory regime with real teeth - which can impose adequate financial penalties and prevent repeat offenders from continuing to advertise - can make corporates act ethically.
- Lip service about protecting women and girls from sexualised violence is meaningless if we don’t address advertising that sexually objectifies women and trains men to see women as objects to be used and not equal persons to be respected.
Ask your MP if they will support a new advertising regulatory regime to ensure all advertising in public spaces is free from images and messages that are unsuitable for children, especially images and messages which sexually objectify women.
2) AGE-VERIFICATION TO PROTECT KIDS FROM ACCESS TO PORN
It is well established that many children in Australia are accessing pornography online and that exposure harms them.
Exposing children to porn harms their healthy sexual development and contributes to children acting out in inappropriate ways, including by sexually abusing other children.
Soon a new UK law will require anyone who makes pornography available online to UK users to implement an age verification system to ensure that no person under 18 years of age is given access to pornography. If websites fail to comply, UK internet service providers will be required by law to block ALL access to the non-complying websites.
- UK kids will no longer have ready access to pornography – Australian children need the same protection.
- You can’t buy alcohol or tobacco or play the pokies without proving you are over 18. Yet there is no proof of age requirement for our kids to access hard-core porn sites,
- Porn harms children – it trains boys to see girls and women as objects to be used not as equals to be respected. Age-verification (18+) for online pornography is a must.
Ask your MP if they will support a mandatory age-verification system to stop children in Australia from easily accessing pornography online.