What is a petition
Petitioning is one of the traditional forms by which citizens can have their say on issues affecting them. A petition is a formal request signed by at least three people. However, most petitions get many signatures to show strong support. The signed petition then goes before a relevant body in persuading them to take a particular action. For example, a petition may request the upgrading of a dangerous traffic intersection.
What is an ePetition
Besides the traditional paper petition, a petition can now be started or signed online. These are called ePetitions. An ePetition is a traditional petition submitted in an electronic format. ePetitions enable petitioners:
- to access a broader target audience
- constantly monitor the number of signatures for an issue
- the ability to easily collate signatures
The personal details provided on the Brisbane City Council ePetition website by both the principal petitioner and persons signing a petition, forms part of the public record. The service is not anonymous and the accuracy of personal details will be checked if necessary.
Request an ePetition
Requesting an ePetition is an easy process.
- Select the menu 'request an ePetition' on the right hand side of this web page.
- Enter your personal details and the exact ePetition wording in the respective fields. Include the ePetition title, opening and closing dates, Ward, issue or grievance and action required.
- Be clear and concise with your message and read over it carefully before submitting. Ensure the discussion point is something that Council has jurisdiction over (that is, something Council has the power to change).
Before any ePetition is published on the website, the ePetition's legitimacy is checked through an approval process (for example, checking the ePetition submitter details are correct and that the language is appropriate).
Signing an ePetition
The Council's ePetition website allows community members to respond to a petition online by registering personal details in support.
- To sign an ePetition, select the ePetition which you want to support from the 'current epetitions' page.
- Select the 'sign ePetition' link and complete the contact details.
- Thoroughly read and accept the website's 'terms and conditions' via the check box.
- You will receive an email via the address supplied to verify your contact details. Your initials and suburb will be published as a signatory next to the ePetition signed (for example, GB Alderley). NOTE: ePetition confirmation emails may automatically be treated as spam or junk mail by some email providers.
The Council's ePetition website will not allow you to sign a petition twice. It is fraudulent to represent yourself as someone else, whether that be as any other real or imaginary person.
When the ePetition closes, it is removed from the 'current ePetitions' section and stored under 'archived ePetitions'. Full details of a completed ePetition are collated by Council and follow a standard process including:
- The ePetition is presented to Council by the relevant councillor.
- It is then allocated to the appropriate work area for investigation.
- The relevant work area investigates the petitioners' request and prepares a recommendation submission for Council. This is usually completed within six weeks.
- After investigation, the petition is submitted with recommendations to the appropriate committee, which submits its recommendation in a report to Council in accordance with its delegation.
- Council considers the recommendations and reaches a decision.
- The decision is minuted, and the head petitioner and all signatories are emailed a link to the ePetitions website, which contains the outcome of the petition.
- The petition file is forwarded back to the relevant work area for noting or for actioning.
ePetitioners' personal information
Council understands that visitors and users of the ePetitions website are concerned about their privacy, and the level of confidentiality and security provided by Council.
Council is committed to protecting user privacy. Council, however, does require the full name, postal and email addresses of ePetition signatories as mandatory information. This information is a means of verifying the person and their eligibility to sign the ePetition.
For ePetition purposes, your personal details are provided to Council. At their discretion, Council may choose to contact you in relation to the ePetition matter.
The personal details of ePetition signatories cannot be seen on the website, other than initials and suburb listed under 'signatures'.