Youngest sen­a­tor bit green but ready

Weekend Courier - - Front Page -

BALDIVIS univer­sity stu­dent and dis­abil­ity ad­vo­cate Jor­don Steele-John is look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing Aus­tralia’s youngest ever sen­a­tor, rep­re­sent­ing WA and the Greens in Se­nate.

Mr Steele-John (22) has been sup­ported by the WA Greens if he is elected to the Se­nate as a re­sult of a count­back.

The move fol­lows the res­ig­na­tion of Sen­a­tor Scott Lud­lam last week amid reve­la­tions he was a dual-cit­i­zen, still hold­ing cit­i­zen­ship in his coun­try of birth, New Zealand.

The ques­tion of Mr Lud­lam's el­i­gi­bil­ity must first be de­ter­mined by the High Court, sit­ting as the Court of Dis­puted Re­turns.

“We are only at the be­gin­ning of this process and there are still a lot of steps to go, but I am ready to do this job,” Mr SteeleJohn said.

“My de­ci­sion has come af­ter care­ful re­flec­tion, as be­fits the sig­nif­i­cance of the role.” He said the fu­ture be­longs to young peo­ple. “We need to be rep­re­sented in our par­lia­ment. There is a very large group of peo­ple who will now have a voice that truly un­der­stands and rep­re­sents their in­ter­ests,” he said. “Over the course of my life I’ve learnt that to be a young per­son with a dis­abil­ity in con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralia is to oc­cupy the in­ter­sec­tion of some of our so­ci­ety’s most in­grained myths and most dam­ag­ing pre­con­ceived ideas.”

Some of his pri­or­i­ties if elected to the Se­nate would be to fully fund and im­ple­ment a world-class NDIS; hav­ing young peo­ple in­volved in the de­ci­sions that af­fect them; and the tran­si­tion to a re­new­able, clean en­ergy fu­ture.

“I now look for­ward to tack­ling these is­sues on the floor of the Se­nate,” he said.

Greens WA co-con­ven­ers Sarah NielsenHar­vey and Gra­hame Bow­land said that Mr Steele-John had been an ac­tive Greens mem­ber for many years and he was well known and re­spected out­side the party for his work in the youth and dis­abil­ity sec­tors.

Baldivis res­i­dent Jor­don Steele-John could be­come Aus­tralia’s youngest ever Sen­a­tor.

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