Youth

Young people are our future and are valuable members of society. They should be recognised and respected for the important perspective they contribute and be well supported  in becoming informed, empowered and engaged members of the community and wider society. Young people have the right to grow and live in safe communities free from violence, harassment, prejudice and discrimination.

Aims

The Greens (WA) want:

  • young people to be able to participate meaningfully in decision-making on policies and programs that affect them (see also The Greens (WA) Public Participation policy)
  • young people to be visible, valued and appreciated, particularly in public spaces
  • young people to be recognised as the innovative, creative and capable custodians of the future

Measures

The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

  • prioritise funding and programs for First Nations youth that are designed and led by First Nations communities, particularly in regional areas, to promote cultural, social, emotional and physical wellbeing (see also the Greens (WA) First Nation Peoples policy)
  • properly resource youth organisations and peak youth agencies and include these groups in government decision making  on youth policies and programs
  • adequately fund children and young people's services, particularly addressing mental health, suicide, drug and substance use, sexual and reproductive health, disability or special care and protection needs (see also The Greens (WA) Mental Health, Alcohol & Other Drugs and Disability policies)
  • reform electoral law to allow young people aged 16 and 17 to vote
  • strengthen youth participation by implementing programs to encourage young people over the age of 18 to learn about and run for election to Local Government (see also the Greens (WA) Local Government policy)
  • develop public spaces and recreational facilities that are safe, accessible, affordable and that welcome young people and include them in the community space
  • provide access to appropriate accommodation options for young people, including homelessness services that meet their needs and sufficient support services for LGBTQIA+ young people affected by family or personal conflict, who are adversely affected by homelessness (see also The Greens (WA) Housing policy)
  • improve access to reliable and affordable public transport (see also The Greens (WA) Transport policy)
  • minimise involvement of young people in the criminal justice system by strategies including ensuring access to legal representation and other specialised support where required (see also The Greens (WA) Justice policy)
  • promote justice reinvestment1 court diversionary programs and provide sustainable resources and funding for Youth Legal Services WA and the Street Law Centre WA and other relevant community legal services
  • ensure all government-funded service providers are accountable, transparent and provide services without evangelism or discrimination on any grounds
  • provide education about the diversity of sexuality, gender identity, sexual relations and reproductive choice and health (see also The Greens (WA) Sexuality and Gender Identity policies)
  • ensure that recreational, cultural, artistic and sporting activities are affordable and accessible, and sufficiently diverse to address the needs and aspirations of all young people
  • provide anti-bullying programs in schools that highlight mediation and restorative practices among all members of the school community
  • ensure that cost is never a disincentive to undertaking further education or training (see The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • address high youth unemployment with appropriate training, education, and supportive and accessible transition to employment programs
  • improve access to, and support for, post-secondary and tertiary education for regional, rural and remote youth
  • protect the rights of young people at work including the right to fair pay and conditions, specifically the right to a full adult wage from 18

(See also the Australian Greens Children and Young People policy)

Glossary

  1. Justice reinvestment - an alternative approach to our penal system, that seeks effective responses to the causes of crime while simultaneously improving community safety and community wellbeing. Rather than investing in prisons, money is used to develop community based programs that aim to reduce offending and recidivism.

Youth policy ratified by The Greens (WA) in 2020

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for young people is Alison Xamon MLC