Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) joins Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) in welcoming the Labor Party’s announcement to fund the national youth peak body, as part of a series of commitments to support young Australians shared by Labor’s Ms Terri Butler MP in Brisbane today.
“Young people want a real voice in decisions. They deserve representation because they are our future,” said Paul Turner, Caretaker Chief Executive Officer of YACVic.
“Finally, young people have clear leadership from one of the major parties to
bring their issues into focus. The future should be fair for young Australians.
Political inaction on critical issues means that young people haven’t had a
fighting chance,” said Ms Acheson, Chairperson of AYAC.
“Making sure young people have an independent voice like AYAC and putting a
Minister for Young People into Cabinet is a great first step to solving the complex
challenges facing young people here and now.”
A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing young people’s incomes and life prospects. Despite saving more than previous generations, today’s young Australians are likely to be the first generation to experience lower standards of living than their parents.
Research shows that trust between young Australians and political systems has decreased. 85% of young people aged 18-29 don’t believe that politicians are acting in their best interests, an increase from 80% in 2016. And this is also true for younger cohorts, with 66% of young people aged 14 - 19 reporting low to extremely low trust in politicians.
“This announcement demonstrates a willingness to work with young people and will help repair their trust and confidence in government and political systems”. Ms Acheson said.
“When young people’s voices are listened to and heard, they are empowered to take control of their own lives,” said Mr Turner.
“Young people are being recognised as change-makers who can swing the federal election; all politicians should be listening to the voices, experiences and perspectives of young people.”
To date, YACVic and AYAC have had no indication from the Morrison Government about a Minister for Young People, a funded national peak or a plan for young people. The Greens gave early support for all three election asks from the youth peak.
YACVic sent a letter to all federal election candidates in Victoria to make a promise to young people, including a commitment to appoint a Federal Minister for Young People and to reinstate funding to AYAC.
YACVic is delighted to see this commitment from the Australian Labor Party.
Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 0438 638 734, [email protected]
Paul Turner, YACVic Caretaker CEO is available for comment.