Youth Week funding in doubt

Youth Week funding in doubt

NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie is concerned about the future of one of Australia’s largest events for young people after the Federal Government dodged a question about National Youth Week funding this week.

The Federal Member for Mayo raised the "defunding" issue with Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Greg Hunt yesterday, asking him to confirm that no money had been set aside for the event beyond 2017.

“Minister, with what I believe is the defunding of Youth Week; I would like to ask whether there has been an evaluation of the National Youth Week program to determine its effectiveness?” Ms Sharkie asked.

“If there was not an evaluation to determine the program, what criteria or evidence was used by government to inform the decision to discontinue the funding?

“If an evaluation was conducted, what were the key findings of this evaluation?”

Mr Hunt had two opportunities to respond and twice avoided the question, confining his comments to another question Ms Sharkie asked about youth training and a pilot program for technical schools.

Ms Sharkie said the stealthy axing of National Youth Week was another example of the low priority of young people in the Turnbull Government.

“Youth Week is not just a celebration of young people; it is also a week that brings much awareness to the wider community about the issues facing young people,” she said.

“As there is no longer a minister for youth representing the three million young people aged 15 to 24, it is vitally important.”

Next year’s National Youth Week – possibly the country’s last – is following the theme youTHRIVE: The importance of young South Australians' physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. It is scheduled for early April.