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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3476 ..


MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.45): Mr Speaker, many members would be aware of the magazine BMA, which is a magazine targeted mostly at younger people in the ACT. BMA is a great source of information on local events and activities for young people in Canberra. It is also a very useful forum in which political parties in the ACT can put forward their policies to a younger audience.

Indeed, in the last ACT election, BMA conducted a survey of all political parties in Canberra to judge them on their youth policies and other issues affecting young people. Mr Speaker, it was interesting at the time, during the last election, that a range of political parties responded and some did not. Indeed, the Labor Party responded, as did the Democrats and the Greens. However, the ACT Liberal Party was notably absent, noticeably not there.

I was reminded of that in the last couple of days when I received the latest edition of BMA, which had a follow-up article on youth issues in the ACT. I would like to read out part of what the magazine has called "Pollies report card", Mr Speaker. In the section headed "How it works", the report says:

Last year as part of our Poll Position feature, we asked all candidates or parties standing for the ACT Legislative Assembly Election a number of questions regarding their policy agenda.

A year on, we have returned to those elected to see just how they are doing based on what they told us a year ago.

As both the Greens and the Democrats hold one seat each (which is clearly not a majority) it must be remembered that they cannot pass legislation on their own-

none of us can, but that is beside the point-

The responses below are from the Labor Party (who currently form the government), the Greens and the Democrats-

and this is where it gets interesting, Mr Speaker-

The Liberal Party (the current opposition) failed to respond to our questionnaire last year, so it was impossible for us to see how they measured up.

Mr Speaker, it is probably just as well, because I have been trying to recall who is the shadow minister for youth affairs so that I could direct those comments to that person, but I just can't remember who it is. In fact, I am yet to see any comment from the Liberal Party on youth issues and the issues of concern to young people in the ACT. I think that it is a sign of the real neglect, ignorance and contempt in which the ACT Liberal Party hold young people in the ACT that they are not even prepared to use the main forum for young people in the ACT, the only dedicated magazine for those young people, to put forward their views and hold themselves accountable for what they are doing as a Liberal Party, Mr Speaker.

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