15 June, 2022

The Hon. J.S. LEE (17:22): I move:

That this council—

1. Notes that SA Youth Week 2022 will be held over 10 days from Friday 13 May to Sunday 22 May 2022;

2. Recognises that there are over 266,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 24 years who live in South Australia;

3. Acknowledges the significant social, cultural and economic contributions that young people make to our state; and

4. Commends the Marshall Liberal government for developing the Strong Futures SA Youth Action Plan 2020-2022 to ensure that young people are engaged, active contributors, as well as creating opportunities for learning and growth so that they can reach their full potential.

It is a great honour to rise today to move this motion in my name to acknowledge the importance of SA Youth Week. 

As the Shadow Minister for Communities and Multicultural South Australia I am passionate about supporting the hard work and dedication of our amazing youth. I wish to put on the public record the Liberal Party's commitment to support young people and youth organisations throughout South Australia.

During SA Youth Week 2022, which is South Australia's annual celebration of young people, South Australians from all walks of life come together to show our support for young people and help to nurture a generation of people who are quickly becoming our future.

It is time to recognise the wonderful and brilliant ideas, talents and other contributions that our youth bring to our state. It is great to observe all the successful events that have been held and workshops that provide opportunities for young people throughout Youth Week.

As of 2019, statistics have shown than more than 266,000 young people aged between 12 and 24 years live in South Australia. These 266,000 people are either studying, entering into the workforce or are searching for a way to forge their career paths and future. These young people are ambitious and determined and they have their own unique talents and skills.

I speak for all the young trainees that we have taken on board in Parliament House and thank all the young people who have chosen to pursue an interest in working here.

These young people are definitely already making significant contributions to our state, and they do it in all aspects of society to enrich our social, cultural and economic life and no doubt will continue to do so into the future.

I thank the Hon. Laura Curran, one of our Members of the Legislative Council who was elected this year, the first within that age group of young people between 14 and 25 years. I think we ought to congratulate her on her achievement.

Some in this group of young people have gone through many challenges during the pandemic. They were anxious, they were deeply concerned about their future and what they can accomplish. It is really important to recognise that these young people can live in our state because we are considered a centre of innovation and a national leader on climate smart policy.

We want our youth to consider some of the options as they take up opportunities for the future. We want our young South Australians to be confident that we are making the best investment today for their future and that their ideas are part of the shaping and development of our state.

In order to build that future, it is important to recognise that our young people are given every opportunity to strive. We would also like to use this motion to commend the Marshall Liberal Government for developing the Strong Futures SA Youth Action Plan 2020-2022.

It was under the former Marshall Liberal Government that a plan was developed in collaboration with young people to ensure that we create a South Australia that is safe, energetic, inclusive and sustainable for all young people, now and into the future.

As I mentioned, this plan was made with the involvement of young people so that their voices are heard. Together with the Youth Panel Forum, the Marshall Liberal Government has delivered a plan that listens to young people's needs and aspirations and positively involves them in decisions that impact on them and their communities.

The foundation of the SA Youth Action Plan has four pillars that represent priority areas that the former Liberal Government invested in. These pillars are:

  1. Earn and Learn: making South Australia a state that provides young people with the necessary life skills and supports to complete school and transition confidently to further education and training or to meaningful employment;
  2. Fair and Inclusive: developing a South Australia that makes young people feel confident to explore their personal potential and to access opportunities regardless of race, age, gender identity, location or ability;
  3. Wellbeing and Environment: creating a future where young South Australians can be safe, healthy and resilient; and
  4. Connect and Grow: forming a South Australia where young people are able to easily and confidently interact with the services and systems they need to live active and engaged lives.

It is vital that this plan continues to be implemented. The Liberal Party calls on the Malinauskas Labor Government to continue the great initiatives that were set forth by the Youth Action Plan. It is critical that we continue to support our young people and create a future South Australia which better serves them and allows them opportunities to make South Australia better.

We have seen before with prior Labor Governments that they have failed in taking action to create a better future for young people. We saw a massive brain drain, with much of our talented and ambitious young people choosing to leave South Australia because they felt that the opportunities here were insufficient. We should not make that same mistake again.

I commend this motion and look forward to working with everyone towards a stronger, inclusive and fairer future for the young people of South Australia.