Australian Parliament needs more young MPs

AGORA moderator's picture

Australia's youngest ever member of parliament says political parties need to get more young people elected.

Wyatt Roy was 20 when he won the Queensland electorate of Longman for the Liberal National Party in 2010.

He lost the seat at this month's election.

Mr Roy said it is important that Australia's diversity is reflected in Parliament, including the ages of politicians.

"Perhaps to a lesser extent, but [similar to] the way that we talk about gender or ethnicity or professional background, it is really important that we have diversity in age in the parliament," he said.

"When the Parliament works at its best, it is representative of the Australian people, and that includes having a few younger people in there, and that might also help [Parliament] have a longer term vision.

"I think we have to do more in reaching out to people and actually saying, 'You can do this, and we will do everything in our power to support you to do this'."
Mr Roy said young people were disenfranchised from the current political system.

"I think young people are actually pretty smart, they're pretty astute," he said.

"I don't think they are politically naive, I just think they feel disenfranchised from the political system.

"I think if you talked to them in a way that respects their intelligence, I think that we can reconnect … and I think Malcolm Turnbull is incredibly well-placed to capture the imagination of young Australians."

Mr Roy lost the previously safe LNP seat located between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast to Labor's Susan Lamb.

The youngest person in Federal Parliament is now 28-year-old Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson.

Other young federal politicians include 32-year-old New South Wales Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, 34-year-old Victorian Labor MP Tim Watts and 35-year-old Nationals Senator Matt Canavan.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-14/wyatt-roy-wants-more-young-mps-in-...