Page 937 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Territory and Municipal Services relating to the recent meeting hosted by the committee with a group of ACT school students who participated in the 2020 vision project.

As members may be aware, the 2020 vision project was delivered during 2012-13 as an interactive, participation-based sustainability project for ACT schools. The project was coordinated by SEE-Change with funding from the community centenary initiatives fund and aimed to encourage as many students as possible to consider sustainability and discuss ways that the Canberra community can reduce its ecological footprint. As part of the project, participating students from kinder to year 12 took part in activities to discuss and learn about the range of sustainability topics.

The project culminated in the hosting of a two-day youth parliament in November 2013 at the Australian National University. The youth parliament provided the opportunity for students to discuss ideas and proposals that had been developed by individual schools. In the final session student parliamentarians considered reports from its eight parliamentary committees on various aspects of sustainability and appointed a cabinet of 16 ministers from 10 schools and colleges.

A key outcome of the parliament was the production of a white paper which included 24 recommendations. On 25 March 2014, the committee met with eight members of the student cabinet to discuss the white paper, in particular the 24 recommendations developed by the students. Each student minister presented a summary of their portfolio and the associated proposals that had been finalised and agreed at the two-day youth parliament.

The meeting was held in committee room 1, which enabled the students to gain an insight into committee proceedings and, in particular, the format of public hearings and other committee activities. Following the formal presentation and questions, the committee had the opportunity to continue informal discussion and share ideas with students over lunch in the exhibition room. The committee was also able to discuss the project with project coordinators from SEE-Change as well as parents and teachers from participating schools.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank the student ministers for meeting with us and sharing their ideas with such enthusiasm. It was clear to the committee that the final recommendations had been well thought out and developed in consultation with all students who had participated in the project. As a committee, we were all encouraged by the high level of youth engagement and the willingness to participate in a project on such an important issue.

Finally, for the information of members, I seek leave to table a copy of the white paper developed as part of the 2020 vision project titled “How should Canberra change by 2020 to meet its ambitious carbon emission targets and become more sustainable?”.

Leave granted.

I table the following paper:

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