Regional youth have direct line to Government

Published: 14 Oct 2019

Released by: Deputy Premier

Young people from across NSW have today been inducted as the members of the NSW Government’s inaugural Regional Youth Taskforce that will give regional youth a voice in Government.

Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor welcomed members to their first Regional Youth Taskforce meeting, where they will be able to champion causes big and small that matter to their peers on the coast and in country NSW.

“I am excited to meet the 18 young people from across our regions, here today for their first meeting as part of the Regional Youth Taskforce and I am eager to hear from them and champion their causes,” Mrs Taylor said.

“The survival and prosperity of our regional towns relies on the teenagers and young adults of today, so it makes sense to give those people a voice at the highest level of Government.

“We have delivered on our election commitment by creating an Office of Regional Youth, appointing a Minister for Regional Youth, establishing a Regional Youth Taskforce and committing $50 million of the current round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund specifically for projects and programs aimed at supporting young people in the regions.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said two people from each of NSW’s nine regional zones were selected from the hundreds of applications.

“This is an amazing group of young people with diverse backgrounds who are united by their desire to improve life for their peers, from country to coast,” Mr Barilaro said.

“It’s a big responsibility but I am confident that every single young person chosen is committed to the task and I want each of them to know they have the support and backing of myself and the NSW Government.”

Mrs Taylor thanked and congratulated the more than 300 young people across regional NSW who applied for the Taskforce.

“Applications revealed a wide variety of issues important to young people in regional NSW, including mental health and youth suicide, digital connectivity, public transport, recreation facilities, drug use, and employment,” Mrs Taylor said.

Advocate for Children and Young People Andrew Johnson has helped facilitate the inaugural meeting of the Taskforce, which will review and provide advice to Minister Taylor, NSW Government agencies and the Office of Regional Youth.

“I’m very encouraged to see the NSW Government taking active steps in listening to the voices of young people and have them involved in the decision-making process” Mr Johnson said.

The Regional Youth Taskforce will meet twice a year in person and twice a year via video conference.

The NSW Government has formed the Office of Regional Youth and is finalising the state’s first Regional Youth Framework.

The NSW Government is also reviewing applications to Round Three of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, with half of the available $100 million funding to be allocated to youth related projects and programs across regional NSW.

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