Page 2967 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 15 September 2015

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Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Smyth) agreed to:

That Mrs Jones be granted leave of absence for this sitting for family reasons.

Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services—Standing Committee

Statements by chair

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (10.03): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services relating to a recent meeting hosted by the committee with a group of ACT school students who were chosen to represent the Parliament of Youth on Sustainability.

As members may be aware, 162 students from 24 ACT schools came together at the Parliament of Youth on Sustainability at the ANU in June this year. They assembled to address this question: what is one action for our future we should take to tackle climate change? During the parliament’s committee sessions 43 proposals were discussed, leading to 11 proposals being brought to a full parliamentary session. Students then voted for their six preferred proposals and elected student ministers to present them to the committee. The project was coordinated by SEE-Change with support from ACT government and sponsors.

On 19 August 2015 the committee met with 13 members of the student cabinet and their advisers to discuss the proposals, while over 30 supporters observed. Each student minister presented a summary of their proposal and answered questions from the committee. Following the formal presentation and question and answer session, the committee had the opportunity to continue informal discussions and share ideas with students over afternoon tea in the reception 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.

The student ministers were from a range of age groups, with the youngest minister being in year 2 and the oldest in year 11. Proposals presented included addressing climate change by planting trees, educating people to buy local produce and understand their carbon footprint, making solar panels mandatory on all new buildings, shifting the economy to green options, and ensuring the effect of climate change on water is recognised as a human rights issue.

On behalf of the committee I 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. I was very impressed with their knowledge, research and the articulate and passionate way they presented their proposals. The meeting provided an opportunity for the students to learn more about the Assembly and our processes and for the committee to hear the views and ideas of

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