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Deloitte youth survey evidence we need to lower the voting age to 16 and increase democratic participation: Greens

Media Release
Jordon Steele-John 16 May 2018

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Australian Greens Youth Affairs spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has pointed to the results of a Deloitte survey released today, which show young people’s faith in politics is at an all-time-low, as evidence we must lower the voting age to 16 in Australia.

“Politics doesn't hear young people, and doesn't value young people, because the old parties don't have to rely on them as a constituency, and therefore don't care about their issues or their future. It is absolutely shameful," Senator Steele-John said.

“It’s little wonder young people have no faith in politics because their voices are not heard! We must take urgent action to address this disengagement with traditional politics or else we will disenfranchise an entire generation and weaken the integrity of our democracy.

“The average age of politicians in Canberra is 51 and there are only three of us who are under the age of 35, or less than 1 per cent, yet Generation Y and above make up more than 45 per cent of the population.

"Never has politics in Australia been so unrepresentative of young people, and this is showing clearly in the results of this survey. !” 

“Young people care deeply about issues that this out-of-touch government simply do not care about or do not understand, issues like climate change, employment, equality and secure housing.

“We are seeing young people playing leading roles in social movements around Australia, such as Australian marriage equality and the #JusticeForElijah campaign.

“Our society treats young people who are 16 and above by-and-large as adults; they can work full-time and pay taxes, make autonomous decisions about their bodies, drive a car, live independently and be tried as an adult by our justice system.

“It is time to recognise that young people are the future of our country and must be given more of an opportunity and a responsibility to take part in our democracy. It is time to lower the voting age to 16 in Australia.”

Media contacts:
Tim Oliver – 0448 316 387

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