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Department admits that Roundtable has no legs.



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Media Release

SENATOR KATE LUNDY

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT AND YOUTH AFFAIRS

SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

 

Department admits that Roundtable has no legs

 

The Department of Education Tra ining and Youth Affairs admitted at last night’s Senate estimates that the National Youth Roundtable was established with great haste and with limited direction from the Minister.

 

“It seems that the Minister stripped the department of any authority with respect to the Roundtable, and handed these responsibilities to an ill qualified but well-meaning consultant, Senator Lundy, Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs, said.

 

The Department also confessed that the selection process was far from scientific and that token targets for the representation of “those who have experience of, or have been associated with, the following:

- disability

- range of ethnic backgrounds

- labour force status

- various education backgrounds

- participation in Commonwealth youth programs and

- range of religious beliefs”

 

In addition, the Department admitted that their chosen Roundtable members under represented unemployed youth by 50%, compared to the national percentage of unemployed youth in the community.

 

“Worse still, after defunding AYPAC and leaving the National Youth Roundtable as the only voice of youth direct to Government, the Government would not comment on the viability of the Roundtable.

 

“In fact the Minister has refused to guarantee that the Roundtable will even exist after the completion of the second Roundtable meeting in September.

 

“The Minister must immediately provide a guarantee that he will abandon his take it or leave it’ approach to the involvement of young Australians in the policy development process.

 

“In addition he must commit either to the continuation of the Roundtable, or to its replacement with a national peak youth representative body”, Senator Lundy said.

 

57/99 10 June 99 Media contact: Melanie Stutsel 0417 002 317, 6277 3334

 

 

jk  1999-06-15  10:57