Standard mail responses

Kat edited this page Apr 22, 2014 · 7 revisions

This page seeks to capture some reasonably standard responses to common emails we get to the contact@ address.

Table of Contents

Contacting an MP

We often get email asking us to forward mail to an MP, here a response you can use:

Dear [SENDER]

Thank you for using OpenAustralia.org. OpenAustralia.org is an independent project of the OpenAustralia Foundation that is run by volunteers. We republish government information on our free website so it's easier for you to use, and we're not affiliated with parliament or the government. Unfortunately we don't provide a mail forwarding service for MPs, so we're unable to pass on your message.

You can however find [THE]'s contact details via "more useful links" on our site at:

[eg.]

If you feel that there was something misleading or badly presented on our website which led to your request, we'd be very happy to have feedback about this so that we can improve it.

Regards,

[YOU]

and the OpenAustralia.org team

Broken PlanningAlerts scrapers

Dear {SENDER}

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts. As you may know, we use web scraping to gather development applications from your local council. This means that if council makes changes to their website, one of our volunteers must update our scraper to cope with the changes.

Unfortunately it appears {AUTHORITY}'s scraper has been broken for {TIME} and has not yet been fixed by a volunteer. If you or someone you know could help fix it, please let us know or consider making a donation: http://www.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/donate/

Regards,

{YOU} and the PlanningAlerts Team

Contact Planning Authority PlanningAlerts

Dear {SENDER}

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts. Planningalerts.org.au is a free service brought to you by the OpenAustralia Foundation, a charity run to help people find information which we all have the right to access.

We republish planning authorities' information on our free website so it's easier for you to use, and we're not affiliated with the planning authorities or those submitting development applications.

If you need further information about a development which you found through PlanningAlerts please follow the link to the application information with the planning authority.

Regards,

{YOU} and the PlanningAlerts Team

Requesting Alerts for Specific Types of DA

Dear {SENDER}

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts.

At the moment PlanningAlerts does not offer a way to search for particular types of development application. Is this something which you're interested for in your business?

Regards, {YOU} and the PlanningAlerts Team

Have Your Say on a Development Application

Dear {Sender}

You've reached the charity that runs PlanningAlerts. If you'd like to have your say on a development application, you can write a comment on PlanningAlerts that is sent to council as an official submission, e.g. http://www.planningalerts.org.au/applications/359427#comments

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts.

Regards, {YOU} and the PlanningAlerts Team

A DA's address shows up on the wrong place on your map

Dear {SENDER}

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts.

At PlanningAlerts.org.au we display addresses as they are found through google maps. These sometimes do not resolve correcly or show up in the wrong place :-) Please try putting the address into maps.google.com - and if you see the same incorrect result as you've described there, then best see if you can update the address marker at maps.google.com

If however, the marker you see displayed through PlanningAlerts or an alert from PlanningAlerts is different from maps.google.com for {THE ADDRESS QUOTED} then please write back and let me know. We'll do our best to correct the problem.

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts.

Regards, {YOU} and the PlanningAlerts Team

Please update my email address for PlanningAlerts

Dear {SENDER}

Thank you for using PlanningAlerts.

PlanningAlerts is totally self service. To receive email alerts at a new email address 1) Unsubscribe: follow the unsubscribe link for any alert. As soon as you have unsubscribed, an option appears to create a new email alert with a smaller area.

2) Click on this option to find the street address you just unsubscribed from pre-filled in.

3) Add your new email address: From there you can enter your new preferred email address for future alerts right there.

Regards, {YOU} and the PlanningAlerts Team

Requesting Reproduction Permission

Some people as us if they can reproduce speeches or if we can assist with copyright when this should be directed to parliament house, although things have changed with the release of Hansard under a Creative Commons license.

Hi [SENDER],

Thanks for using OpenAustralia.org. OpenAustralia.org is an independent project of the OpenAustralia Foundation that is run by volunteers. We republish government information on our free website so it's easier for you to use, and we're not affiliated with parliament or the government.

The Australian Hansard is available under a Creative Commons licence (http://www.aph.gov.au/legal/copyright.htm), and we have been granted permission to use it on our site. So while we're delighted you're using information from our website, we can't pass on permission to republish Hansard but we'd suggest you check your use is covered under APH's Creative Commons license (it's very likely it is).

If we can help in any other way, please don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Cheers,

[YOU]

and the OpenAustralia.org team

Request to Update an MPs entry in the Register of Members' Interests

MPs sometimes put too much information in their entries perhaps forgetting that they are public, here a response you can use: cc: david.elder.reps@aph.gov.au,

Dear [SENDER],

Thanks for using OpenAustralia.org. OpenAustralia.org is an independent project of the OpenAustralia Foundation that is run by volunteers.

At OpenAustralia.org we mirror information in the Register of Members' Interests, which is part of the public record. We understand your concern to remove this information which may have been included in error.

If an update for the registrable interests of the Hon [NAME] MP is subitted to the Registrar and they send it through to us, we'll make sure we update it at our end as soon as possible.

Please find the Registrar of Members' Interests, David Elder cc'd on this email.

Kind regards, {YOU}

and the OpenAustralia team

Request to Update a Senator's entry in the Register of Senators' Interests

Senators sometimes put too much information in their entries perhaps forgetting that they are public, here a response you can use: cc: Senators.Interests@aph.gov.au

Dear [SENDER],

Thanks for using OpenAustralia.org. OpenAustralia.org is an independent project of the OpenAustralia Foundation that is run by volunteers.

At OpenAustralia.org we mirror information in the Register of Senators' Interests, which is part of the public record. We understand your concern to remove this information which may have been included in error. If an update for the registrable interests of Senator [NAME] is subitted to the Registrar and they send it through to us, we'll make sure we update it at our end as soon as possible.

Please find the Registrar from the Senate Standing Committees for Senators' Interests cc'd on this email.

Kind regards, {YOU}

and the OpenAustralia team

Can I haz votes/bills?

Hi [SENDER],

Thanks very much for your email.

Unfortunately, whilst we currently download and store the voting records (it's in the bowels of our data section), there's no easy way to view it. We really want to launch an Australian version of the UK's The Public Whip but at the moment we don't have the time or resources (we're 100% powered by volunteers!).

If you'd like to get involved or help out, please visit our Get Involved page to find out more or let us know directly.

Thanks again,

[YOU] and the OpenAustralia.org Team

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