Today, more than at any other time in Australia’s history, the policy challenges affecting our nation’s future will play out not over a number of years, but over generations.
While no Australian under the age of 40 has experienced a recession in their adult lives, the need for reform to ensure that our economy remains productive, competitive and sustainable into the future will require generational decision-making.
For the young people of today, grappling with these policy challenges will be a centrepiece of their adult lives.
Research by the Whitlam Institute has shown that ‘young people want to be involved in decision-making processes and should be offered opportunities to do so within existing political structures’.
Encouraging their participation will encourage greater transparency and engagement, inspire short term issues-based or community-centred action to improve longer term decision making processes and value and acknowledge the contribution of young people through a process of accountability back to those young people.
Accordingly, Labor believes they deserve a say at the ballot box about the future direction of our nation.
As part of a broad strategy to engage young Australians in the political system and empower them to drive and guide change, Labor proposes the following:
Expanding the electoral franchise to Australians aged under 18
Improving the enrolment of individuals once they reach voting age
Better ways to improve the engagement of young people with disability, young Indigenous people, and young people living in outer suburban, regional and remote Australia.