In an historic first, people right across NSW are now able to petition the NSW Parliament online using ePetitions.
Petitions allow members of the public to directly place their issues before the Parliament. A petition helps raise awareness of an issue in the community and lets Members of Parliament know what action the community wants the Parliament to take, but it doesn't compel the Parliament to take action.
The new ePetitions platform allows ePetitions to be presented directly to the Parliament.
Traditionalists will be happy to know that paper-based petitions will continue for the foreseeable future.
Paper-based petitions require 10,000 signatures to have the matter debated on the floor of Parliament, whilst e-Petitions will require 20,000 signatures for a debate.
Also fun fact NSW is also the only jurisdiction in the country where citizens have the chance to have their petition debated by parliamentarians.
FAQs on ePetitions
What are ePetitions?
Petitions that are created online and signed online, with no paper involved.
How do I create an ePetition?
You can only create ePetitions from the NSW Parliament website. An ePetition needs the support of at least five people and a Member of the Legislative Assembly before it's open for signatures for either one, three or twelve weeks.
How do I sign an ePetition?
The website will have a list of ePetitions. To sign an ePetition you must identify yourself as a resident of New South Wales and provide a valid email address.
What's the role of the Member of the Legislative Assembly?
Petitioners ask a Member to present an ePetition on their behalf. If the Member agrees to present the ePetition, it becomes open for signatures. Members cannot create ePetitions, and they cannot sign ePetitions they have agreed to present.
What happens once the ePetition is closed for signatures?
The ePetition is reported to the Assembly and becomes a 'tabled paper' of the Assembly. It is provided to the Government for information. If it has more than 500 signatures, a Minister must provide a response, which will appear on the website and be sent to all signatories (unless they opt out of updates). If it has more than 20,000 signatures it will be debated in the Assembly.
Can I share the ePetition on social media?
You can share an ePetition from a list of open ePetitions or you can share it after you've signed it. There are links to Facebook and Twitter.
Can I see who signed the ePetition?
Neither Members of Parliament nor members of the public can access the list of names and email addresses. The email addresses are deleted after six months and are only used to keep signatories informed of the progress of the ePetition.