Thursday, 6 September
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters will hold its first hearing today in Melbourne on Australian Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John’s proposal to lower the voting age to 16 and increase democratic participation.
Today’s committee hearing in Melbourne will not be quorate, as the Government has not sent any of its members, meeting instead as a sub-committee.
Australian Greens Youth spokesperson Senator Steele-John said:
“We’ve had almost 100 submissions to the inquiry, including from some of Australia’s most well regarded law academics from more than 12 of our country’s universities, and an overwhelming majority of those submissions were in favour of this important democratic reform.
“I’m also incredibly excited by the number of young people who have taken the time to make sure their voice is heard in this discussion. Today we’ll be hearing from a group of high school students from my home state of WA.
“Given the support we have had so far, I can’t see this reform slipping by the wayside as it has done in the past. Young people are being ignored by our political class and it is time we gave them a voice in their own futures.
“After all, they are the people who will live with the decisions made by government right now for the longest time, and the current government hasn’t even bothered to turn up today to listen!
“We’ve seen the most incredible self-interest and greed from our government over the last week and it’s little wonder young people are leaving the major parties in droves.
“If they can work full time, pay tax, own and drive a car, join our armed forces and have sex then I don’t see why they can’t participate in our democracy!”
Submissions to the inquiry can be found here: https://www.aph.gov.au/votingage