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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (29 October) . .

Page.. 3820..


Motion (by Mr Barr) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Down syndrome

MR WALL (Brindabella) (6:16): I rise this evening to acknowledge the fantastic work done by the ACT Down Syndrome Association, and particularly the recent Down Syndrome Awareness Week which was held here in the ACT from 12 to 19 October. This fantastic week culminated in the "step up for Down syndrome" walk, which was a great display of support for a cause which deserves such praise and recognition.

It is worth noting that the Independent Property Group is the new major sponsor of ACT Down Syndrome, and I am happy to have played a part in facilitating that new relationship. The Belconnen Lions Club, Just Better Care and Priam Meats are also worthy of acknowledgement in this place for the significant backing and contribution that they also make to the ACT Down Syndrome Association. Again, I would like to commend their efforts, and I look forward to next year's awareness week as once again it will highlight not only the association but also the significant work and contribution that they make in supporting families and children in our community that are affected by Down syndrome. I commend them on the work that they do.

Youth unemployment forum

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6:17): Tonight I rise to talk about the recent youth unemployment forum hosted by Anglicare during the national Anti-Poverty Week. During that forum we heard from young people within their services who struggle with marginalisation and poverty due to their experiences of unemployment and underemployment. The event was also a platform to launch Anglicare's recent research in a report entitled Limiting futures: youth unemployment in the ACT.

Anglicare are an advocate for young people and they said it is their job to better inform and give voice to the lived experience which disadvantaged young people have shared with them.

Anglicare are particularly concerned about the impact federal welfare policies will have on young people, especially those from highly disadvantaged backgrounds. Research shows youth unemployment myths include views that people are somehow responsible for their own poverty, either because there are jobs available to those who want them or people are picky or lazy, or have a preference to stay on Centrelink payments rather than work.

Anglicare's findings are similar to the recent Australian Youth Affairs Coalition report which found that 96 per cent of the 134 young people they asked would prefer to have a job and earn their own money as opposed to receiving Centrelink benefits.

There is an 11.3 per cent unemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 in the ACT. It is not for want of trying to find work. According to the ABS, in 2014 in the ACT there

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