Young Western Australian uni students get a taste of parliament

Young Western Australian uni students get a taste of parliament

NEARLY 60 fresh faces replaced state politicians recently, as young West Australians assumed the roles of Parliamentarians to develop and debate legislation in Parliament House.

Among them was South Perth student Joshua Slattery (18) who represented the seat of Belmont and acted as Police Minister.

He had previously met Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey at Parliament House and discussed local and state issues with her.

Mr Slattery said it was the second time he had taken part in the youth parliament and he enjoyed the experience.

“I sponsored a domestic violence bill and had to brief caucus on it,” he said.

“I also had a role in helping to refute a bill that was put up by the opposition.”

Mr Slattery is a first year student at Murdoch University studying economics, and while interested in politics has no ambition to become a politician.

“I’m not really into the cut-throat politics that usually goes on,” he said.

“There has been lots of good debating and it has helped with my public speaking and made some great friends.”

Commenting on the Federal election, Mr Slattery said the Labor and Liberal parties were thin on substance.

“They don’t have a lot of substance at the federal level and I think they need some minor parties to draw out a bit more substance and keep them honest,” he said.

Youth Minister Tony Simpson said the WA YMCA Youth Parliament program provided young people with opportunities to develop their personal skills and learn more about the political system.

“This program is an important platform for young people to have their say on the big issues, enabling them to contribute the views of their electorate at a State level,” Mr Simpson said.

“We know that the decisions being made today will affect the young people of tomorrow, and this program allows them to be a part of that decision-making process while also building confidence and developing their leadership skills.”

Fifty-eight young leaders representing 49 different localities, including six regional areas, participated in the program held during the school holidays.