Scot MacDonald
23rd Jul 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC today met with children and young people at Salt Ash Community Hall to discuss better options for youth in regional NSW.

Today’s discussion is one of around 30 consultation sessions the NSW Liberal National Government, in collaboration with the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP) is undertaking across regional NSW  between 23 July and 3 August 2018.

Today’s consultations in Salt Ash were held in collaboration with Port Stephens Council and it’s Youth Advisory Panel.

Mr MacDonald said the NSW Government is aware of the challenges too often faced by young people in regional areas and the consultations are the vital first step in helping to shape new policy options.

“We see opportunities to improve outcomes for young people in Port Stephens and in regional NSW,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Thanks to the young people who gave us their time and their honest and open feedback today to help improve the lives of their peers across the state.”

“There are some complex challenges on the table, that’s why we are investing the time now to get the in-depth analysis and valuable face-to-face feedback we need to deliver appropriate and effective solutions.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW said the NSW Government has long prioritised opportunities for young people, having established the NSW Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People in 2014.

“The NSW Government is focused on outcomes for our regional communities and for our young people,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This year we introduced 100,000 free apprenticeships for young people and in April we committed an extra $13.9 million to provide 24/7 crisis beds and support for homeless youth – this consultation is an important next step to tackle the tough issues for young people in regional parts of NSW,” he said.

Information gathered directly by ACYP from over 4000 children and young people across regional NSW will compliment these consultation sessions, said NSW Advocate for Children and Young People Andrew Johnson.

“This is another great example of where the NSW Government is listening to the voices of children and young people in NSW to ensure better outcomes,” Mr Johnson said.