Now The Greens want every 16-year-old to vote and are fighting for the voting age to be lowered in Australia next year
- The Greens want a bill lowering the voting age to 16 as a priority
- Lowering the voting age will be one of their top legislative priorities next year
- The bill is unlikely to pass without the support of the Albanian government
Lowering the voting age to 16 will be one of the first bills introduced when parliament resumes as the Greens outline their legislative priorities.
The small party that holds the balance of power in the Senate says they want the bill to be the first cab of the rankings in the lower house next year.
But unlike their adult counterparts, under-18s would not be required to vote and would not be fined for not voting.
But the bill is unlikely to pass without government support.
It’s not the first time the Greens have introduced a bill to lower the voting age, with Western Australian Senator Jordon Steele-John doing so in 2018.
The Greens want a bill lowering the voting age to 16 to be a priority when parliament resumes. Pictured is leader Adam Bandt
Melbourne Green Member Adam Bandt and wife Claudia Perkins arrive for the annual Mid Winter Ball at Parliament House in Canberra in September 2018
Stephen Bates, the new Greens MP for Brisbane, will call it another day in 2023, saying young people deserve a seat at the table.
He says big issues like climate change, the economy and the cost of living affect young people, but there is no way for them to speak up.
“They have limited ways of holding politicians accountable,” he said.
‘Students take to the streets in their thousands to demand action against the climate crisis.
‘They have no choice. They are excluded from the crucial decisions that affect them and want their voices heard.’
The Brisbane MP says 16-year-olds are trusted to drive, enlist in the army and work.
“Yet they have no say in the composition of their own government,” he said.
Sixteen year olds can vote in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Ecuador, Estonia, Malta, Scotland and Wales.
Mr Bates has tabled an intention to introduce his own-initiative bill when parliament resumes in February.
The Greens’ ACT colleagues also introduced a bill in late 2021 to lower the voting age to 16 for territorial elections.