Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
Thousands of young Tasmanians care passionately about lutruwita/Tasmania’s future, but are shut out of having a real say.
Tabled today, the Greens’ Electoral Amendment (Voting Age) Bill 2021, would provide those 16 year olds who want to participate in our democracy the chance to do so.
In a time of climate emergency, with the student climate strike movement growing, we know how desperate young people are to be able to have their say at the ballot box.
Contrary to inaccurate stereotypes, young people are smart, passionate, and politically engaged. They understand just how important their vote could be.
Unfairly for thousands of young people, they are unable to exercise that most important of democratic rights and have to watch in frustration from the sidelines as the major parties sell out their future.
16 and 17 year olds can drive a car, sign a lease, make medical decisions, work full time and pay tax on their income. They can also join political parties.
Yet they aren’t allowed to vote. It’s time for change.
Lowering the voting age to 16 has happened in other countries like Scotland, Wales, and Austria. Tasmania has an opportunity to lead the nation in strengthening our democracy, by empowering more people to have a say at the ballot box.
The decisions made by elected representatives now will affect young people more than anyone else. It’s only fair they should be given the power to influence who is making those decisions, and we hope the House will support our Bill.
The Greens’ Electoral Amendment (Voting Age) Bill 2021 can be found here - https://tasmps.greens.org.au/bill/electoral-amendment-voting-age-bill-2021