Teens keen to solve political problems

AT 15, Brendan Ma isn't old enough to get his driver's licence but has already been made a member of a Parliamentary Transport Committee — in the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament, that is.

"I think the key issue is establishing more direct regional connections, as well as establishing more convenient, faster and cost-effective means of travelling to high-density areas like the [Sydney] CBD," Brendan, a year 10 student at James Ruse Agricultural High School, said.

The youth parliament program gives young people like Brendan a voice in the running of their state.

In issue-based committees of 10, they will create a Bill with the aim of solving a problem that they are passionate about.

Brendan, who will be joined at Youth Parliament by classmate Kelly Wu of Carlingford, will develop his committee's Bill at a training camp in Yarramundi in April.

The Bills they create will be debated during a week-long residential camp, starting on June 30, where the young parliamentarians will follow the same processes as their adult counterparts and participate in Question Time, Matters of Public Importance and Private Members Business.

"Can't wait to debate new solutions to ameliorate the lives of Indigenous Australians," said Kelly, who will be on the committee for Aboriginal Affairs. She is in year 12.

"Hopefully our innovative solutions will attract the attention of the NSW Members of Parliament and genuinely help the lives of our citizens," she said.

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