REVEALED: What issues CQ’s youth raised with Qld MPs
Central Queensland youth will have their concerns tabled to Queensland Parliament after meeting up with two state MPs at a youth week event at The Caves.
Minister for youth affairs Meaghan Scanlon flew up to Rockhampton on April 16 to join Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga at the Mount Etna Caves National Park to hear the concerns of young people in the region.
Ms Scanlon said Queensland was such a diverse and decentralised state and different issues would be flagged in different regions.
“This is essentially to make sure we’re engaging with young people to make sure we’re finding out what issues are important to them and how I can advocate for their interests as youth affairs minister in a really meaningful way,” Ms Scanlon said.
“We know that different issues will come up in different regions.
“This is a great opportunity for young people to come together to meet people who they might not know.”
Ms Scanlon is the youngest sitting Queensland MP.
She said the issues raised by the young people were mental health, housing affordability, climate change, and protecting the environment.
Ms Scanlon also felt as if a lot of young people might be thinking that many politicians weren’t listening to their views.
“We’ll be compiling reports from each of these particular sessions,” she said.
“We’ll be comparing them to see if there are some trends that are similar and areas that might be different.”
Ms Lauga also said mental health was an issue raised by the young people, both in this session and the annual summits she had run for the past five years.
“The conversation has now moved onto what can we do better to help young people and improve their mental health,” Ms Lauga said.
She said she would meet with the health minister to discuss tailoring mental health programs better towards young people’s needs, and this wouldn’t need major change or major funding requirements.
The session also discussed consent; a major issue facing Australian politics at the moment.
“They have very informed views about consent and their feedback about how we can better educate from an early age about respectful relationships, then into consent,” Ms Lauga said.
She said to bring about cultural change, it needed to start at a young age.
And the big takeaway from the event was being an active citizen.
Ms Lauga, who’s electorate is 48 per cent under the age of 39, said young people could write a letter to the editor, contact a local MP, research and provide solutions for issues, or join community and lobby groups.
She said she responded directly to her messages from social media.
Originally published as REVEALED: What issues CQ’s youth raised with Qld MPs