WA Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John has called for the Australian voting age to be lowered to 16.
Senator Steele-John, the Australian Greens youth affairs spokesman, responded to research showing youth unemployment and underemployment is at record highs by reiterating the need to include young people in political decision-making processes.
“This research once and for all busts the myth that young people experience unemployment and underemployment at the rates we do because we can’t be bothered to find a job,” Senator Steele-John said.
“The reality is that my generation has the qualifications and wants to work, but is experiencing an employment environment dominated by insecurity in a way that no other generation has had to confront.
“It is time for us to guarantee a living minimum wage and raise NewStart and youth allowance to ensure our social safety net is there for everyone that needs it while we work to improve employment conditions in the ways that are necessary to create the systemic change that is needed.
“Every other generation has experienced a brightening horizon. We have been able to say to our kids and our grandkids that things will be better for you and that critically, part of that is secure and meaningful full-time work.
“These kinds of guarantees simply don’t exist for my generation and that is because politicians have never been less interested in listening to young people and our needs.
“That is why I’m so passionate the need to lower the voting age to 16 in Australia, so that politicians have to listen to young people and take the issues facing this generation seriously.”