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Voices of 600,000 young people being ignored by Labor Party and Government

Media Release
Jordon Steele-John 1 May 2018

Monday, 30 April 2018

Australian Greens Youth spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has slammed Bill Shorten and the Labor party for failing to respond to calls to lower the voting age to 16 in Australia and for failing to acknowledge young people are not being heard in our democracy.

Senator Steele-John said today this was yet another classic example of the political establishment ignoring the voice of young people when they are asking to be heard, and was exactly the problem with our political system today.

"Bill Shorten publicly called for this reform back in 2015 and yet he has remained silent; he should at least have the courtesy to answer the calls from young people to be included in our democracy.

“There is no clearer example of why this reform is so urgently needed. It is not ok for the leader of the opposition to simply ignore the voices of 600,000 young people.

“The Labor party are squandering an opportunity to move away from the endless rhetoric and political posturing dominating debate in this country towards a conversation about the long-term vision for the future of our society and our planet.

“Imagine what policies would be front and centre of the political debate in Australia if the voices of young people were heard, respected and prioritised!

“Currently, the average age of federal parliamentarians is 51 years old and there are only 3 of us who are under the age of 35, or just over 1 per cent. By contrast under-35-year-olds make up more than 45 per cent of the population!

“This important democratic reform symbolises an opportunity to change the way we do politics in Australia and I call on Bill Shorten and the Labor party to support my bill to lower the voting age to 16 and improve democratic engagement.”

Media contacts:
Tim Oliver – 0448 316 387

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