Young people, including 16 and 17 year olds, are already stepping up to lead action in their local communities.–Katherine Ellis, CEO of Youth Affairs Council Victoria
Young people deserve to have a say on their future. YACVic urges the Victorian Parliament and community to pass amendments to the Local Government Bill which would allow 16 and 17 year old young people the right to vote voluntarily in local government elections from 2022.
“Young people, including 16 and 17 year olds, are already stepping up to lead action in their local communities,” says Katherine Ellis, CEO of Youth Affairs Council Victoria, the peak body and policy advocate for young people and the youth sector in Victoria.
“Almost half of all young people in Victoria are volunteering and 40% of young people are working part-time, so lowering the voting age would be recognition of their contribution to their local areas.
“With social media at their fingertips, young people today have more tools to be informed, organise groups and advocate for themselves.
“Lowering the voting age to 16 will also support young people to engage with democracy from an earlier age and have a voice in the decisions that affect them.
“Young people use local government services such as libraries, sport and recreation facilities, youth services, community centres, parks and infrastructure every day.
“Young people will be the most affected by the fundamental challenges facing Australia right now, because they have the longest to live with the consequences of decisions being made.
“We must take young people seriously and lower the voting age to recognise and encourage their active participation in Australian society.”
“Lowering the voting age is part of a broader push led by students to improve their education around civics, government and participation in democracy.”
Media contact: Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 0431285275
Katherine Ellis, YACVic CEO is available for further comment.