House debates

Thursday, 30 November 2023

Constituency Statements

Youth Voice in Parliament Week

9:53 am

Photo of Zoe McKenzieZoe McKenzie (Flinders, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm very excited today to rise and present two speeches written by Emma and Samuel Gardner from the Mornington Peninsula Shire as part of the Raise Our Voice Youth Voice in Parliament Week. Emma writes:

My name is Emma and I am 12 years old.

I live in the electorate of Flinders. I am here to tell you about homelessness, which means not having a safe place to live. As American politician Linda Lingle once said, "We have come dangerously close to accepting our homeless problem as one we cannot solve."

The main reasons for homelessness include: unsafe home environments, physical/mental health issues, and expenses. On any night, at least 122,000 people will be experiencing homelessness.

These people are not just on the streets, they can be couch surfing, or sleeping in public transport or their cars. It doesn't have to be this way. We can help these people by doing things like lowering the house prices.

This could be achieved by passing a law where if you have been homeless for more than six months, you are entitled to a discount to make it more affordable.

The average house price in Australia is $896,000, which is quite expensive for many people.

This law would help people who are stuck living in homelessness to get a house, job and sense of safety.

We need to work together to make a brighter future for all Australians, and helping the homeless would be a great start.

The second one:

My name is Samuel Gardener and I am 11 years old. I live in the electorate of Flinders.

I am here today to recognise the major problem that is food waste. It is an issue for the environment that I think is an enormous one.

This is because every year, the amount of food wasted could fill the MCG 9 times! It costs Australia over 100 million dollars a day. We must work together to fix an issue that has affected us for decades.

As Pope Francis once said, 'throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry'.

So we have a choice.

We can either rise to the challenge and the occasion, or we can sit back on our heels and wait for someone else to fix it.

So tell me. Did racism and sexism just stop? Or did it take hard work and dedication from the government?

Right now, that's the challenge we're faced with. An issue has come, and it's up to us to decide whether it becomes bigger, or we can stop the reason so many people are dying of malnutrition.

My generation and all the others after it, will grow up thinking it's ok to waste food and won't be able to have great quality roads and food.

Thank you to Samuel and Emma.