plugging in electric car sunset
Advocating change

The power of listening

To be a voice for our members we must listen to members. Thankfully there’s no shortage of Tasmanians telling us what they think about the core issues we advocate for on their behalf.

Almost every day our community and advocacy team is contacted by members on subjects as diverse as fuel prices, electric vehicles, the state of our roads and road safety. There are many sage suggestions that have been incorporated into what we do.

Our community road safety programs are also great listening posts to monitor the concerns of Tasmanians.

Our three regional advisory committees have given sterling service to the organisation and its members for many years and the policies that are the foundation of our advocacy are the result of their advice.

As our contact with individual members showed, there was a great resource of equally good advice and guidance from potentially thousands of members, and we needed to tap into that.

As a result, with the support of our Board and our Community and Advocacy Committee, we've constructed a new way to use the skills, knowledge and experience of our members more effectively.

We now have two panels of members, which importantly includes many of the current regional advisory committee members, to increase our understanding of what members think and want.

Credit: Stu Gibson

Initially we contacted the Tasmanians who participated in our federal election campaign. We've also formed a smaller expert panel, largely comprised of current regional advisory committee members.

And we're progressively adding to the panels as we ask our members who call in on issues whether they want to join. There’s been 100% acceptance from them so far. That’s a small but important pointer to member enthusiasm for the concept.

There'll be regular surveys of panel members on advocacy matters, and of course we need their observations on what they see as important feedback on regional issues – be it roads, road safety, EV charging, land-use planning, public transport, active travel, or heavy vehicles.

Our first survey on road safety went out to panel members in September and we've reported back to them on the results. What we found particularly was a strong alignment with our long-standing positions on enforcement and speed limit setting.

We know from recent experience just how influential the views of our members are. When we urged the State Government to reintroduce mobile automated enforcement cameras, a potent weapon was the fact that 83% of members surveyed supported the position. That’s a number that would comfort any decision-maker.