Don’t dump youth urged

SPARED the ax last month, the reprieve for members of the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) has been short-lived with Liberal and Our Local Community councillors voting to dump it last week.

Calling for the councillors to stand by their previous decision, Roydon Ng and Rish Akolkar each pointed to the good work accomplished by the YAC over the past two years and questioned why it was being abolished.
Mr Ng said high school students on a waiting list for the YAC because they were under the minimum age requirement, would also be disappointed by the move.
The father of YAC member, Alex Soyer said his daughter Madeline’s involvement has been a very positive experience.
He said she’d become a focal point “for pressing issues” for students at her school and urged councillors not to “miss a golden opportunity”.
“We must realise for such a little investment of time and money, the importance of building a genuine bridge and a forum for youth to voice their problems and ideas,” he said.
Unswayed, Cr Ned Attie said if he had his way, he would “abolish all the committees”, adding that there was no reason why young people couldn’t form their own groups to advise council.
“Let them come to us. Why should we tell them what to do, let them tell us what to do. You don’t need a committee for this,” he said.
“You want them to be empowered, you want them to actually be leaders in this community, then let them act like leaders not followers. No-one’s stopping them.
“We keep holding their hands. Every single committee report that comes back is an idea coming forward from a councillor, or it’s an idea from the public that’s been twisted into what a councillor wants.”