The Importance of the Wills Youth Advisory Committee

House of Representatives 13/05/2021

Mr KHALIL (Wills) (13:29): Every year I form a Wills Youth Advisory Committee to give young people in my electorate a seat at the policy table. I want to thank the 2020 committee for their work last year. Their report, ‘Wellbeing in Wills during COVID-19’, investigated the impact of COVID-19 on young people. Their survey asked how COVID-19 impacted their social lives, their jobs, their education and their physical and mental health. Here are just a few responses: ‘The wait period for mental health specialists was way too long’; ‘Young people want hope, and that starts with being able to afford a house’; and, ‘Given the remarkable achievements of science in response to COVID-19, why aren’t we taking the same approach with real action on climate change?’

I’m continually amazed by the perseverance and optimism of young people. Too rarely has the impact of COVID-19 on young people been properly recognised. Unfortunately, young people were not recognised in this week’s budget either, apart from the measly JobTrainer extension or JobMaker hiring credit. This government has forgotten young people. It’s forgotten about unaffordable housing. It’s forgotten about rising student debt. It’s forgotten about stagnant wages. It’s forgotten about insecure work.

I want young people to know that not only do I recognise their sacrifices I remain committed to working on the things that matter to them. Thank you to the 2020 committee: Arun Sharma, Kelsey Hayes, Olympia Sarris, Liam Phillips, Anelyse Rizza, Tara Dennison and Jacob Gamble. I look forward to working with the new 2021 committee this year.