Youth take a close look at Par­lia­ment

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

STATE politi­cians were re­placed by nearly 60 fresh faces re­cently as young West Aus­tralians as­sumed the roles of Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to de­velop and de­bate leg­is­la­tion in Par­lia­ment House.

Among them was South Perth stu­dent Joshua Slat­tery (18), who rep­re­sented the seat of Bel­mont and was also Po­lice Min­is­ter.

He had pre­vi­ously met Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey at Par­lia­ment House and dis­cussed lo­cal and state is­sues with her.

Mr Slat­tery said it was the se­cond time he had taken part in the youth par­lia­ment and he had en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I spon­sored a Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Bill and had to brief Cau­cus on it,” he said.

“I also had a role in help­ing to re­fute a Bill that was put up by the Op­po­si­tion.”

Mr Slat­tery is a first year stu­dent at Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity study­ing for an eco­nom­ics de­gree and is in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics, but has no am­bi­tion to be­come a politi­cian.

“I’m not re­ally into the cut-throat pol­i­tics that usu­ally goes on,” he said.

“There has been lots of good de­bat­ing and it has helped with my pub­lic speak­ing and I have made some great friends.”

Com­ment­ing on the fed­eral elec­tion, Mr Slat­tery said the La­bor and Lib­eral par­ties were thin on sub­stance.

“They don’t have a lot of sub­stance at the fed­eral level and I think they need some mi­nor par­ties to draw out a bit more sub­stance and keep them hon­est,” he said.

Youth Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son said the WA YMCA Youth Par­lia­ment pro­gram pro­vided young peo­ple with op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop their per­sonal skills and learn more about the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem.

“This pro­gram is an im­por­tant plat­form for young peo­ple to have their say on the big is­sues, en­abling them to con­trib­ute the views of their elec­torate at a State level,” Mr Simp­son said.

“We know that the de­ci­sions be­ing made to­day will af­fect the young peo­ple of to­mor­row and this pro­gram al­lows them to be a part of that de­ci­sion-mak­ing process while also build­ing con­fi­dence and de­vel­op­ing their lead­er­ship skills.” d455054

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity stu­dent Joshua Slat­tery.

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