Media Releases

Labor Will Restore Young People's Faith in Politics

May 07, 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will put an independent voice for Australia’s youth at the centre of Australia’s public life by restoring funding to the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition.
This election is a choice between a Shorten Labor Government, which will ensure young people are represented in government, or more of the Liberals and Nationals’ cuts and chaos. Australia needs real change, because more of the same isn’t good enough.
Labor acknowledges that young people are doing it tough. For far too many, home ownership is out of reach; employment is insecure; and everything is going up except their wages.
The Liberal and Nationals refuse to accept this reality. 
At his most recent National Press Club address, the Deputy Prime Minister described young people as one of the biggest problems in the upcoming election.

“One of the biggest problems we’ve got in this election is the fact that we’ve got a lot of young people voting for the first time – and this sounds dreadful – who have probably never known how good they’ve got it.”

Over the past six years, the Liberal and Nationals have time and again relegated the status of youth affairs as a national priority.
Tony Abbott scrapped the youth affairs portfolio and defunded the peak body in 2013. Joe Hockey’s solution to housing unaffordability was to tell young Australians to get a better job.
Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have failed to restore this funding or reappoint a minister. It is blatantly clear the Liberals and Nationals don’t back young Australians.
Labor will commit $600,000 each year in base funding for the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, the peak body representing the interests of young people.
We will also provide the organisation an additional $3 million for projects conducted in partnership with youth stakeholders.
This will include:

  • Building a youth worker community of practice.
  • Providing opportunities for direct representation of young people
  • Encouraging increased political participation.

Under the Liberals and Nationals:

  • The great Australian dream of home ownership has turned into a nightmare, with young people locked out of the housing market and paying high rents.
  • There have been endless cuts to schools, universities and TAFEs, leaving young people saddled with more debt that they have to repay sooner.
  • Young workers trying to support themselves have had their penalty rates cut.
  • The youth unemployment rate is double the national average, with more than 250,000 young people looking for work.
  • And for those that have a job, there are many that aren’t getting enough hours.  
  • And the Liberal National Party is at war with itself about whether or not they accept climate change is real, let alone whether to take action.

It’s no wonder young people’s trust in politicians and democracy is at an all-time low.
Labor understands the pressures younger Australians are under.
Labor will:

  • Restore funding to the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition.
  • Restore penalty rates.
  • Waive upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students.
  • Provide 150,000 additional Apprentice Incentives – up to $8,000 for employers and $2,000 for apprentices.
  • Take real action on climate change.
  • Make sure Australia’s live music industry is thriving.
  • Ban gay conversion therapy and support young LGBTIQ Australians.
  • Abolish the exploitative Youth Jobs PaTH internships.
  • Review the adequacy of Newstart and Youth Allowance.
  • Uncap uni places – so 200,000 more people can go to university.
  • Introduce a New Jobs Tax Cut to give small businesses an incentive to put on additional employees aged under 25.
  • Close unfair tax loopholes that benefit the top end of town.

After almost six years of cuts and chaos under the Liberals, our united Labor team is ready to deliver a fair go for young Australians.
See more on Labor’s positive plan for young people here:
It’s time to end the chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor.