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Youth Poll results: an important indicator for the election.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Australian Democrats Senator for South Australia

31 January 2004 MEDIA RELEASE 04/032

Youth Poll results: an important indicator for the election

A majority of young people (75%) want more young people in Parliament, according to the Australian Democrats.

Youth Poll, an annual survey conducted by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, provides detailed insight into issues that are important to Australia’s 15-20 year olds.

Senator Stott Despoja - releasing the Poll today in Glenelg - said the result is a “wake up call” to the major parties in an election year.

“Many young Australians feel their rights are being ignored, that they are often misrepresented and trivialised,” said Senator Stott Despoja.

“They feel disengaged from the political process. That only 6% of Youth Poll respondents trust politicians is significant in the context of an election year.”

Youth Poll highlights a number of issues that are likely to influence the voting intentions of first time voters, including:

* 76% of respondents believe the Government is not doing enough to protect the environment.

* 93% of South Australian respondents believe that nuclear waste should not be dumped in their State.

* 87% believe education should be publicly funded and a majority of respondents (62%) think the current levels of student assistance are inadequate.

* 59% of young Australians support a Republic.

* 63% support a treaty with Indigenous Australians.

* 62% want condom vending machines in school and 97% want sex education in schools.

According to respondents, the most important issue is family (63%), then education (56%), and health (53%).

Youth Poll is circulated to all universities, TAFEs, many schools and youth organisations.

For media inquiries and an electronic copy of Youth Poll 2003 please contact Serena Rogers on 0419 833 571