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Youth Participation

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The Youth Coalition asked parties and independent candidates about their policies on youth participation. We asked:
- How will you improve youth participation in the ACT and include young people in the decision-making processes, specifically those who are under the legal voting age?

The full responses we received from parties and independent candidates are below. 
Click here to download to short snapshot of their policies on youth participation.

ACT Greens

Young people have the right to participate in decisions that affect them and the life of their community, and they should have the opportunity to have a say about what is important to them. That's why the Greens are proposing to lower the voting age, and to find ways to consult with young people who are below the voting age.

We recognise that young people have the right to have a say in decisions affecting their own lives, and we’re committed to meaningful youth participation in policies and decisions. Including young people brings new perspectives, ensures that programs work for those who need them, and promotes inclusive and cohesive communities.

For this happen, to we need to ensure that community engagement processes are properly resourced and include appropriate timeframes for engagement, that people who are affected by decisions are sought out for input, and that community organisations and individuals can participate in public debate without fear of repercussions from the ACT Government.

ACT Labor

Just because you’ve not old enough to vote doesn’t mean your voice shouldn’t be heard. In the ACT, we have a whole of community approach to promoting the rights of children and young people. We have a special Children and Young People Commissioner, who plays an important role in ensuring the views and interests of children and young people are considered in Government policy-making processes, and in other decisions that will affect them.

We also work with the Youth Advisory Council, which is made up of 15 people aged between 12 and 25, from a range of cultures and backgrounds. The Council gives young people the chance to take a true leading role in participation and consultation on policy making in Government.

In addition, there is a currently a Ministerial listening tour working with 15 local youth groups, to hear firsthand the views and concerns of young Canberrans. In August this year, there will be a Youth Symposium to provide young people with a platform to present their perspectives on how to sustain a socially harmonious community.

Canberra Liberals

Boosting youth interest in decision making processes is essential for the future of the ACT. Canberra is Australia’s capital, the home of national government and the public service for the nation. We also have our own ACT government and Assembly. The Canberra Liberals are committed to schools utilising the resources of the Legislative Assembly and would like to see the inter school debate program continue. We also support youth participation in advisory roles across government. By continuing to support organisations like the Youth Coalition in their youth engagement work we will ensure young people are given a voice in the ACT.

We’re committed to ensuring young people who have the passion and desire to serve their local communities are encouraged and supported to do so. 

Independent Candidates 

Joel McKay, Independent Candidate for Brindabella

I believe the ACT Government should consider providing additional funding to our community councils, in order to help set up youth branches. Youth branches would be made up of members between 12 and 25 years of age, who are students at local schools or living in the area.

The creation of youth branches would allow community councils to access the thoughts and wishes of young people in their area more readily. Any submissions or recommendations made by a community council could be informed by the views of younger Canberrans, not only those of legal voting age.

Youth branches could also have a direct link to the Youth Advisory Council, which provides advice on youth issues to the ACT Government. It is vital that young people in Canberra are given the chance to voice their concerns and be consulted on Government decisions, particularly as they will suffer the consequences of any poor decision making in the future. 


The above information was provided by the parties and/or candidates listed, and authorised for publication on this website by Emma Robertson, Youth Coalition of the ACT