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Howard Government completely out of touch with Australia's youth.

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Kate Lundy - Howard Government Completely Out Of Touch With Australia's Youth Friday, 24 August 2001

Howard Government Completely Out Of Touch With Australia's Youth Kate Lundy - Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs

Media Statement - 23 August 2001

Young people perceive themselves as having been the biggest losers under the Howard Government, Senator Lundy said in a speech to the Senate this week.

"Young Australians have been disproportionately hurt by the Howard Government's mean and ruthless five-year policy agenda, which has seen funding slashed to many of the services provided for those young people most in need," Senator Lundy said.

"Young people have told me that, more often than not, they see the Howard Government favouring the big end of town.

"Many young people have experienced first-hand the effects of Coalition blowtorches applied to key areas of youth concern; including income support, education, labour market programs, health programs and the environment.

"Unlike Labor, the Howard Government has continually failed to understand that communities are stronger and more cohesive when all members are included, recognised and feel able to participate in the life and decisions of the community.

"The message I'm hearing is that young people are seeking from public office holders the very things they perceive Mr Howard to be most lacking in - that is, they value vision and strong leadership in areas such as education, welfare and jobs, and want to be valued and included.

"Most of all, younger Australians want to be included in both decision-making and community affairs across a wide spectrum of issues.

"Under the Howard Government, many young people feel alienated from their community and the political processes of the wider society and see an urgent need for policy makers to remove barriers and create opportunities for greater youth participation in society.

"The Coalition's defunding of the national youth peak body, AYPAC, and the lack of action on National

Youth Roundtable recommendations, has had a detrimental effect on how young people see themselves valued by Government.

"By contrast, a Beazley government will listen to, and take into consideration, the views of young Australians. It is Labor who has provided the vision and commitment to invest in their future by developing Australia as a Knowledge Nation.

"I urge my parliamentary colleagues to consult with young people in their electorates and use those experiences to inform them and see how young people are faring in their own backyards," Senator Kate Lundy concluded. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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