What is Twitter?
Twitter is a 'microblogging' platform which allows users to post and exchange short messages of up to 140 characters in length. Twitter users engage publicly with other users over the internet, accessed by the Twitter website or Twitter applications on internet-enabled mobile devices. Twitter allows users to share links to online information, publish photographs and share other media such as video. With the exception of direct messages exchanged between users, all messages (or ‘tweets’) are public and visible to all for review, comment and share.
To be notified of tweets from an account you follow, you will need to create your own account at www.twitter.com. Twitter accounts are free of charge and support is at https://support.twitter.com/ .
The @EPA_WA Twitter account is used to inform the general public and stakeholders of information relating to the Environmental Protection Authority and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority’s role in environmental impact assessment, policy development and advice on environmental matters. This information may include:
- release of new reports, guidelines, bulletins and policies;
- opportunities for public comment/submissions;
- media releases and other announcements.
The EPA and OEPA’s website is the main source of public information for the Authority and the department and can be found at www.epa.wa.gov.au.
Media outlets are directed to contact us via our media enquiry phone number +61 8 6145 0975 or email@example.com. We are not able to respond to media requests through the @EPA_WA Twitter account.
Our Twitter account
The OEPA operates its Twitter account as @EPA_WA. The OEPA’s Communications and Media staff manage the @EPA_WA Twitter account. The frequency of tweets from this Twitter account will vary, but is generally expected to be no more than three to five weekly tweets Monday to Friday during office hours. The OEPA accepts no responsibility for Twitter downtime.
The OEPA does not automatically follow organisations or individuals who follow it. We may follow relevant organisations and other parties where there is a clear link in communicating and receiving environmental information relating to the OEPA and EPA. Individual Twitter users will not be followed unless they are known in a professional capacity. Being followed by the OEPA does not imply endorsement of any kind.
The OEPA may occasionally be asked to re-tweet (RT) content from other Twitter users. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will proactively re-tweet content that contributes useful information relating to the OEPA and EPA. This may include, but is not limited to:
- State Government announcements,
- Ministerial media statements,
- Federal environmental issues affecting Western Australia.
Monitoring, @replies and direct messages
The OEPA’s Twitter account is primarily to facilitate notifications as outlined above. However, the OEPA Communications and Media staff read all comments, @replies and direct messages and ensure that any emerging themes or helpful suggestions are forwarded to the relevant people in the organisation. The OEPA will monitor the @EPA_WA Twitter account between the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. We are not able to reply individually to all messages received and, where common topics and requests exist, the OEPA may issue a general notification via Twitter. Questions or comments regarding specific issues should be sent to us by email or post using one of the methods on our Contact us page at http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/Pages/contact.aspx.
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. It allows Twitter users to categorise messages which enables users to search and filter information based on keywords and share information more meaningfully. Hashtags also allow users to quickly identify ‘trending’ topics (as displayed on the Twitter.com homepage). The OEPA will use hashtags when:
- providing information relating to environmental impact assessment of significant development proposals;
- announcing new or revised policies, guidance and bulletins.
Election periods and caretaker conventions
In the period before a State Election, the OEPA’s Twitter account will be managed in accordance with caretaker conventions published by the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The OEPA will notify its followers about the reason for any changes to the frequency or volume of tweets.
Privacy and recordkeeping
All tweets made by the OEPA must comply with the State Records Act 2000 and other legislation requiring the keeping of specific types of records. The OEPA does not routinely capture or record the contact details of any parties following its Twitter account, however your email address may be recorded if you contact us via Twitter and request further information from us. Your email address will only be used for the purpose for which you have provided it and it will not be added to a mailing list or used for any other purpose without your consent.
Departmental staff use of Twitter
Posting on Twitter by OEPA staff for professional reasons is restricted to Communications and Media officers. Use of social media by OEPA staff is governed by the OEPA Code of Conduct and the OEPA Social Media Guidelines.
The OEPA acknowledges the WA Department of Health's Twitter policy as the primary source for this policy.