Lower voting age to 16, says NSW Youth Parliament

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More than 170 aspiring young leaders have today called upon on the NSW Government to lower the State’s voting age to 16, as part of the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament held at Parliament House in Sydney.

In debates presided over by Strathfield MP Jodi McKay in both Houses of Parliament, Youth MPs called upon the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to investigate, and lead community debate on, the possibility of providing 16 and 17 year olds with the opportunity to vote.

The motion was passed 75 to 20 in the Legislative Assembly and 44 to 10 in the Legislative Council.

The YMCA NSW Youth Parliament, now in its 14th year, gives young people a voice in the running of NSW.

The apolitical program aims to promote youth-led advocacy, active community leadership and legal and parliamentary education in a parliamentary setting. 

Quotes attributable to Member for Strathfield Jodi McKay

“Young people have the largest stake in our future, and it’s only fair they be given an opportunity to have a say in the public policy discussions shaping the future of our state.”

"Today I have seen firsthand the incredible passion of our state’s young leaders.”

“The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters should heed their calls and investigate how we can work together to ensure young people can take part in the democratic process.”

Quotes attributable to Youth Premier of NSW Iman Salim Ali Farrar

“It’s time for the state’s political leaders to trust young people with the right to vote.”

“Too often decisions are made for young people without any consultation. This needs to stop.”

“The leaders of tomorrow should be given the opportunity to shape the decisions of the future and I hope our state’s leaders hear our message loudly and clearly today.”