Thursday, 30 November 2023
Statements by Members
Youth Voice In Parliament Week
Last week was Youth Voice in Parliament Week, which gives our young people the opportunity to have their voices amplified here in the federal parliament. Young people were asked to write a speech about what change would make Australia a better place for future generations, and it is a privilege for me to read a speech on behalf of 16-year-old Eva from Santa Sophia Catholic College in the Gables in my electorate of Mitchell. This is the newest school in my electorate. These are Eva's words:
'My name is Eva. I'm 16 and I'm from the Mitchell electorate. Do you remember the time when you were my age and so incredibly eager to be an adult, to have responsibility and move from home? Well, I'm not. I'm extremely concerned.
'Young people like myself are struggling to independently set themselves up for a secure future. As young people, we should never have to worry about whether or not we will have a safe place to call home or if we can afford groceries at the local supermarket. In Australia the cost-of-living crisis has risen to an unprecedented rate, putting even more at risk of homelessness and mental health issues and putting pressure on vulnerable families.
'Data from Suicide Prevention Australia shows that more than half of Australia's population is experiencing mental distress directly linked to cost of living, the crisis that is challenging this nation. The cost-of-living crisis limits young people's quality of life, as it impacts whether we can afford education, stable housing, common groceries, electricity, gas and health care, therefore putting us in a vicious cycle against our financial, physical and mental health.
'Australian needs to act now. Policies must be put in place to help us combat the cost-of-living crisis. These policies should target the barriers that impact the availability for young people to easily access education, jobs and receive proper care in regards to our health.'