Page 1685 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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Based on my experience, I would very much be urging the idea of there being two plans as has been in place for many years. I ask that that seriously be considered because the needs of children are very different from the needs of young people. We are talking about a different developmental stage of life and different issues. There are very different needs for services. They certainly have different life experiences at that stage. Therefore, that is why you would look at separating them, as has been the case here in the ACT for a long time.

I believe that what can tend to happen when you do put large groups or very different needs into one plan is shown from the experience of another state such as Western Australia. There tends to be a greater focus on the earlier age groups, especially when funding is very tight. That means that those later years, those teenagers and young people, tend to get less of the allocation of resources. That is also not a desirable thing.

Let me sum up on Youth Week. I think we are all in agreement that we have a territory full of fabulous, talented and very engaged young people. We have the highest rates of youth volunteering here in the ACT when compared to the rest of Australia. We have incredibly high rates of volunteering and incredibly high rates of engagement. We just need to look at things like how many young people are participating in education and training and so forth to realise that this is the case. I am very pleased that we are all in agreement that this sort of celebration of young people needs to continue for years to come and that, in fact, it is not just about one week; it is about every week of the year that we look at ways to engage and to include young people and their views in whatever we do.

I take on Mr Seselja’s point around engaging young people more in the political aspects of life and decision making and know that there are many out there who start on their student representative councils at school and then go on to continue to engage in political life in one shape or form.

I thank members for their contributions this afternoon. I hope that the young people of the ACT do get involved and do go along to some of the activities and the wonderful events that have been organised for this week. I urge them to get involved in the youth interact conference on Friday and to provide their views to that conference. Of course, that will go back to government for consideration. I wish everyone—the young people, the youth organisations and everyone who is involved in this wonderful event—best wishes and good luck. I know it will be a great week.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Standing and temporary orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Corbell) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No 5, Executive business, relating to outlaw motorcycle gangs, being called on and debated cognately with notice No 5, Private Members’ business, relating to organised crime.

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