House debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Statements by Members

Youth Voice In Parliament Week

1:42 pm

Photo of David LittleproudDavid Littleproud (Maranoa, National Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture) Share this | | Hansard source

The Raise Our Voice Australia campaign allows young people to express their vision for our nation's parliament. Today I'm thrilled to speak on behalf of 18-year-old Benjamin Springhall from my electorate. Benjamin writes:

Next year, I will be venturing out into the real world as I pursue a Bachelor's degree in International Relations.

First off, University sounds scary. It's scary because I have to find a whole new place to live, which at this point in time sounds impossible.

Being a kid from the small regional town of Kingaroy, I must leave home and travel to Brisbane or a larger city for university.

Whilst it is possible for a regional kid to do university online these days, it is hard to gain the new experiences and full education of being on campus.

The parliament should implement more support to regional kids leaving home, some of which have never been to a city before.

Increased funding in regional education could even one day give regional kids the opportunity to commence university not far from home.

Whilst I wouldn't be considered extremely disadvantaged, I worry about the financial stress my parents and I will go through on this unknown journey.

The financial stress in this day and age alone is worrying, however for someone from the regions, it is truly horrifying.

The politicians in Canberra should work with bipartisanship to ensure all youth have equal opportunity. The future of this nation lies in their hands.

Benjamin, you are right: the stress and financial pressures that our regional young people face when it comes to education are massive. As a parliament, we must work together, and, as the federal member for Maranoa, I will fight for this.

1:44 pm

Photo of Josh BurnsJosh Burns (Macnamara, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to share with you the words of 21-year-old Emily Rush from McNamara. Emily participated in the Youth Voice in Parliament campaign, which asks young people around Australia what they think our new government should accomplish. I would also like to note that Raise Our Voice Australia is run by Ashleigh, who lives in the great electorate of McNamara. Here are Emily's words:

I want Australia's new parliament to address the cost-of-living crisis.

In 2020 I moved to this electorate from a small country town excited to start a new life in Melbourne. When Covid struck, not only was I isolated and alone in my little apartment, but as a renter my expenses only grew. In the span of a year, I had to work multiple jobs to barely afford my rent.

There were weeks where I had to choose between buying my groceries and paying my rent.

As a result of all of this I had to put my education on pause.

I want to see a government that will help young people like me to ease the cost of living pressures we face because I know I'm not alone.

Without change I see myself as only being a renter.

My parents are able to own their own house, but her me that seems like more of a dream than a reality.

Young people are tired of waiting.

We need change now.

We need action.

I say to Emily: I really appreciate you putting those words together, and we'll work extremely hard in this place to deliver for you and the other young people in our great country.