Youth Action joined with the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and six other state youth peaks to support the 2018 Bill to lower the minimum, non-compulsory voting age to 16.
Providing the opportunity for young people aged 16 and 17 the option to vote recognises them as citizens and contributors to society. It also gives them a recognised platform to participate and express their views about government policies in Australia. The option to vote at 16 will also encourage conversation about politics at an earlier age and foster a strong sense of civic engagement earlier in life.
The change would also bring voting rights in line with other significant rights gained by young people aged 16. Young people aged 16 can leave school, live independently, become parents, make independent medical decisions and obtain a driver’s license. At 17, young people can join the military. A large number of young people aged 16 and 17 contribute to our economy by engaging in employment and taking on legal responsibilities and tax obligations.