What matters to young voters

Published 5:00am 23 April 2022

What matters to young voters
Words by Kylie Knight

Seven young voters have spoken about the issues that matter to them in this Federal Election and they’re hoping candidates in the seats of Petrie, Dickson and Longman are listening.

The group from Redcliffe Area Youth Space sat down with Moreton Daily on Thursday and shared a long list of concerns they think the next Federal Government needs to address.

For most, the May 21 poll will be the first Federal Election they have voted in and they plan to make it count.

Staff at the youth space have been explaining the process and what to expect on the day.

Before polling day, they hope candidates in the Moreton Bay Region listen to their concerns and make commitments to address the issues that matter to them.

What matters to young voters

Priority issues for young voters

Matt Weldon, 20

Matt will be voting in a Federal Election for the first time and for him, health care - particularly mental health care - is a big issue to be addressed.

“A lot of people feel they have nowhere to go and no one to talk to, no one to confide in. It’s a massive problem,” he says.

He is also worried about the increasing cost of living, including everyday items, rent and house prices.

“It costs so much to support yourself and a lot of people aren’t earning enough to be able to do that.”

Wolf Kennedy, 19

Wolf enrolled to vote at the end of March and would love to see a bigger focus on the environment.

“We need more sustainable energy because of the damage (traditional energy production) is to doing to the environment,” he says.

“Human rights is a big issue for me although I don’t know the process to fix it.”

He is concerned about human rights at a national and international level including indigenous deaths in custody and the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community.

“I feel good (about voting), but I am definitely going through the motions,” he says.

In saying that, he has already made up his mind and know who he will be voting for on polling day.

Steven Pocock, 24

Steven is very involved in the electoral process and will be working at polling booths during the day and counting votes at night.

“I enjoy it, being able to help and shape the country,” he says.

For him, one of the key issues is unemployment which he says is under-reported. He also wants the next government to create opportunities for people who want to work – particularly young people.

Luka Palmer, 20

Luka will be voting in his first Federal Election.

“The big thing is the environment. It would be good to get the government’s support on that and their proper opinions on that stuff,” he says.

“I don’t think they (politicians’ opinions) are particularly clear, but through research I know what they are but it wasn’t easy to find out.”

Dylan Thompson, 19

“The environment is an issue that has to be dealt with better,” he says.

“Also, more support for the arts and local music – it needs more funding and opportunities than what’s available.”

The performing musician says this is particularly the case post-COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions which prevented many from working and earning a living.

This will be the first Federal Election he’s voted in.

“I’m just going through the motions. I don’t know all about it yet,” he says.

Xander Hoole, 19

Unfortunately, Xander missed the deadline to enrol to vote in this election but is passionate about improving healthcare broadly but particularly for diabetics as his sister has diabetes.

“Living healthly is a big part of living,” he says.

“We also need better care in hospitals. I spent time in hospital as a kid and have friends who have been in hospital too.”

Yarrim Fogarty, 17

His 18th birthday is just after the Federal Election, so he won’t be voting this time around.

He says the process seems a bit confusing now, but he’s sure he will work it out when his time comes.

“We need more things around the community that people could do, free events and that kind of stuff,” he says.

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