The NSW Government is calling on councils to give young people a greater role in Local Government decision-making.
In a circular released to councils today, Local Government Minister Don Page and Citizenship and Communities Minister Victor Dominello urge councils to tap into the views of young people and include them in strategic planning for their communities.
“It’s important that all levels of government listen to young people’s views and consider their goals and aspirations when it comes to decision-making,” Mr Page said.
“The NSW Government is encouraging councils to think about how they can support young people to participate in local decision-making – be it through student representative councils, youth forums, or establishing a local youth advisory council.
“Councils could also consider employing young people in apprenticeships, traineeships or on a casual basis for projects like Youth Week events. These sorts of opportunities would offer great experience for young people while also helping local governments to increase the diversity of their staff and address the issue of an ageing workforce,” Mr Page said.
Mr Dominello said the whole community benefits when young people get involved in local decision-making.
“At a State level, the NSW Youth Advisory Council advises the Government on matters of concern to young people. Councils could benefit from setting up a similar system at a local level,” he said.
“When young people feel more strongly connected with their community, everyone benefits from the vitality and fresh perspective that young people bring,” Mr Dominello said.
The NSW Government provides resources to help councils and other organisations engage young people, through the NSW Commission for Children and Young People. Visit the website at http://www.kids.nsw.gov.au/kids/resources/participationkit.cfm for more information.