Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Labor misses the point on Youth Leadership

Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today rejected claims by Opposition spokeswoman for Youth, Tanya Plibersek, of the lack of youth representation on the National Youth Roundtable (Roundtable) and the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group (NIYLG).

“The Howard Government has continued to support projects such as the Roundtable and NIYLG, which give our next generation a voice on issues relevant to them in the national arena,” Mrs Ley said.

“New initiatives within the Roundtable have seen the memberships reduced from 50 to 30, to increase effectiveness and bring a sharper focus to Roundtable issues.

“The Roundtable is constantly evolving to bring ever-increasing relevance to the voice of youth in relation to policies the Howard Government seeks consultation on.

“I am disappointed that there isn’t a representative from Tasmania, however an applicant from that state was selected, but chose to withdraw.

“Selection of participants for both the Roundtable and the NIYLG are based on criteria, which is rigorously adhered to and reflect geographic as well as other demographics and final decisions are made by the independent selection panels.

“The independent selection panels include young people making the decisions.

“Only one application was received from Victoria for NIYLG and that applicant was short-listed for the independent selection committee to make a final decision.

“The Roundtable has always attracted sufficiently high quality applications to fill the positions required and the Federal Government aim to seek representation from all states in Australia.

“This should not detract from the main aim of the NIYLG and the Roundtable, which is to give young people an opportunity to address their concerns to government,” Mrs Ley concluded