By Celine Lai

Even if you can’t support the environmental movement financially or in person, maybe you can still spare half-an-hour to put pen to paper and speak truth to power.

Why don’t you give it a go? Submissions for the “Gas Fired Recovery Plan” can still be made up until 31st March 2021.


Gas is a fossil fuel that needs to be phased out along with coal and oil.  Investing in gas will not create the sustainable future we all need. Here is an opportunity to demand that the Australian government invest in more renewable energy, not gas.

The Australian Parents for Climate Action webpage gives excellent points that you can use to create your own Submission.  And 350 Australia has a template email  which you can modify, to quickly send a submission to the “gas-led recovery” consultation. 

Federal Government

As part of an inquiry, a committee usually asks for written submissions addressing the terms of reference. The terms of reference for each inquiry are on the committee’s website. There are no terms of reference for a bill, because the committee is seeking comments on the bill itself.

The requirements of a submission are for well-written, non-inflammatory pieces that:

  • clearly address some or all of the terms of reference—you do not need to address each one
  • are relevant and highlight your own perspective
  • are concise, generally no longer than four to five pages
  • begin with a short introduction about yourself or the organisation you represent
  • emphasise the key points so that they are clear
  • outline not only what the issues are but how problems can be addressed, as the committee looks to submissions for ideas to make recommendations
  • only include documents that directly relate to your key points
  • only include information you would be happy to see published on the internet.

For submissions to the Australian Government, online delivery is preferred. However, as this page here explains, submissions can be sent in by email, but it may take longer for you to receive an acknowledgement that your submission has been received.

You can ask for your name not to be published on the Committee Submissions webpage, or for your submission to be kept confidential, i.e.only read by members of the committee and the secretariat.  You will need to explain why your submission or part of it should remain confidential.

You may need to try out different browsers when submitting your Submission online. 

Please be mindful of deadline dates and times for uploading Submissions, via the Australian Parliament website . You should also leave time to check or review your submission, if possible, and have time to make sure it has been uploaded. You will receive an email confirmation that it has been uploaded, and you can track the inquiry via the APH website.


State Government Inquiries

The Western Australian Government holds Committees which may make use of public inquiries managed by the relevant Department. For example, the Department of Health held a Sustainable Health Review in 2017 and published its findings in 2019.

Examples of Submissions

It is important to understand the terms of the inquiry or Committee that you are submitting to. Please read and note what it is about and think about what concerns or interests you the most. There should be information available on the internet if you want to research anything, or get ideas about what to write.

The Department of Health held a Sustainable Health Review in 2017 and Ivan Quail addressed a few points of the Review with detailed facts. His Submission can be found by clicking here.

Ivan looks at the dangers of radon from fracking. Fracking is drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

A Submission that has been personalised with information about yourself may retain the interests of those reading the submission.

Celine Lai addresses the current call for submissions to Australia’s “gas-led recovery”.

The Australian Parents for Climate Action web-page gives excellent points that you can use to create your own Submission.

Please note that Submissions for the “Gas Fired Recovery Plan” are due by 31st March 2021.

Click here to access Celine’s draft submission, noting that it is provided for inspiration and guidance on formatting only. You should use your own words and expression in your submission.

350 Australia has a template email available here, which you can modify, to quickly send a submission to the “gas-led recovery” consultation. 

However, you can upload your submission directly to the website of the Department that is calling for submissions.

350 Borloo Perth will send out emails occasionally, inviting you to write a Submission.

It is important to make your voice heard by putting in a Submission.

You can ask for tax-payers money to be spent on something worthwhile, and have your say.