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Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Page: 4120

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:48): I think all of us would agree it's always a joy when you have schools visit parliament and you speak to the students about their experiences, what they're learning and how democracy works. But I always ask the students, 'If you were Prime Minister of this country, what would be your priority?' I have to say that the students of central Victoria have a much better list, have a much better handle on things than this current Prime Minister.

At Girton Grammar School, when I caught up with those students post their visit to Canberra, they actually said that one of their priorities was to phase out coal-fired power and to focus on renewable energy. One of the students also said that he wanted to see the gender pay gap closed, that he believed that he and his sister, if they did the same job, should be paid the same. These are students that are speaking up about what their priorities would be.

I also had the chance to catch up with St Kilian's Primary School post their visit. They believe that we as a country need to be doing more to help people who are homeless, making sure that we're investing in new houses for people who are homeless. They said that we needed as a country and as a community to make sure that we're ending family violence and that we're supporting women and children who are fleeing. These are our students, the future leaders of our country. I congratulate them on their vision and on their compassion and encourage them to stay involved, because their ideas are great and are worthy of consideration. (Time expired)