9.41am- The Australian National Anthem is played as Youth Parliament official proceedings get underway.
9.45am- Youth Parliament pays their respects to the traditional owners of our lands, the Wurundjeri people.
9.53am- “Youth Parliament is an opportunity for young people’s voices to be heard” – Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos opens the 2017 Youth Parliament of Victoria.
9.59am- A welcoming speech for the YMCA Youth Parliament of Victoria being signed. This is the first year that Youth Parliament will have a team of deaf participants presenting a bill.
10.07am- 2017 Youth Parliament Governor Amanda Gailiss delivers her speech to the Chamber, outlining some of the issues young people are facing today.
10.12am- Governor Amanda Gailiss officially declares the YMCA Youth Parliament 2017 open.
11.10am- Matter of public importance is presented to the Chambers: The CSIRO’s funding for climate change should be increased.
Matter of Public Importance: Increasing Funding to the CSIRO
11.43am- “The @CSIROnews needs government funding in order for thorough research in climate change to be conducted” – Maria Gatto.
11.56am- “Global warming is not just a warmer summer or warmer winter, it is potentially the end of the world” – James Cohen.
Introducing Medically Supervised Injecting Centres
1.05pm- “By controlling the environment of injection, we would be saving lives.”
1.08pm- not only will this bill “reduce number of dirty needles that litter our street,” the Government believes other services provided at the facility such as counselling will help reduce the drug problem in Victoria.
1.11pm- The opposition is raising many questions, is it the role of the government to interfere in an individuals’ actions or is it up to individuals to take responsibility over their own lives? What about non-injectable drugs like marijuana or cocaine?
1.16pm- “we do not support this policy because we do not support normalisation of this behaviour” instead the focus should be on the “prevention of addiction.”
1.18pm- In response, the government points to a clause in their bill that states education about the safe injection facilities is part of the plan.
1.23pm- The government states that safe injecting facilities will not promote drug use but instead address the reality of the problem that there are drug users.
1.37pm- “Not all drug users are bad people, somebody could make a mistake and have to deal with an addiction.” The government questions if the Opposition would rather let these people to deal with their addiction in a safe environment for themselves and others?
1.44pm- The government implores the opposition to put aside their prejudices about drug users, look at the statistics demonstrating the success of the program in other parts of the world and place the focus on saving lives.
1.55pm- The results are out, the bill passed successfully!
Matter of Public Importance: Increasing Funding to the CSIRO
11.17am- “What we want, what we need, is this body to make climate protection an achievable thing and to take action.” Tanna Reynolds.
11.59am- The Legislative Assembly overwhelmingly votes to increase the funding of the CSIRO.
Subsidies for Parents Returning to the Workforce from Parental Leave
12.53pm- “None of us would be here unless it were for our mothers, but we are making it extremely difficult for them to return to work”, Angelica Mantikas.
12.58pm- Hon. Member Niam Healy arguing that in 2017 we recognise more than just two genders in society so why do we still impose traditional gender roles (Legislative Assembly).
1.06pm- Hon. Member Krystelle Rush argues that the youth of Victoria need further funding to education rather than having the money allocated to Parental Leave entitlements.
1.14pm- “The amount of $30,000 allocated to fund parental leave education indicates job change rather than job re-training”, Hon. Member Jeselin Gai.
1.17pm– “This Bill only helps those who have previously received higher education, it is a classist Bill and does not consider parents with lower incomes”, Hon. Member Nicole Carrier.
1.21pm- “These subsidies should be means and assets tested to ensure those who need it the most get our help”, Hon. Member Jonathan Han.
1.25pm- “This bill is not about childcare – we might legislate on this in the future, [this bill] is about educating parents to get a job”, Angelica Mantikas.
1.45pm- Ivanhoe Girls Grammar’s bill, Subsidies for Parents Returning to the Workforce, has passed the Youth Parliament – ayes 39 to nos 21.
Introducing Alternative School Disciplinary Actions
2.06pm- Minister Turner from the Youth Ambassadors of East Gippsland provides his speech to the Legislative Assembly, introducing the bill.
2.10pm- “Australian or not, we all deserve a fair go.” Minister Turner passionately finishes his speech.
2.12pm– The opposition argues against the bill, stating school based suspensions serve their purpose of protecting victims of bullying by removing the offenders from the school environment.
2.16pm- “School suspensions reduce the chances of students completing their education,” argues Minister Cherise Oosthuizen.
2.19pm- “This bill fails to see the bigger picture,” argues Mr Taylor for the opposition.
2.26pm- “Suspensions and/or expulsions have a direct link to disengagement…removing students from the classroom does more harm than good,” argues Minister Katie Nally.
2.33pm- “This bill does not consider the victims,” argues the opposition.
2.35pm- “It is absurd to assume that someone can have a positive learning experience…what exactly constitutes ‘positive learning experience,'” argues Alex Bowden of the opposition, referring to the fact that the bill requires mandatory community service.
2.36pm- “For all of us here who have completed Year 10 maths, we know that correlation does not necessarily lead to causation…the Government does not even understand it’s own bill” argues Leader of the Opposition, Tanna Reynolds.
2.41pm- A personal anecdote from Faith Ferhad is delivered to the Assembly, however the opposition continues to argue that staff wellbeing is ignored in this bill.
2.57pm- The bill is defeated.
Government-Owned Addresses For The Homeless
3.15pm- The Legislative Assembly is debating the issue of homelessness in Victoria. Will providing a fixed address for homeless people on public record be stigmatising?
3.20pm- “Homelessness is neither a disease or a crime, but a detrimental problem that we here today have the opportunity to end.”
3.38pm- Is it fair that those homeless individuals with a criminal record are not eligible for a fixed address, which may assist in securing employment and changing their status?
3.46pm- The opposition argues that fixed addresses will help the homeless population. The government however sees the bill as a quick solution to the issue. They believe that the funding for this proposal would be better used in physical shelters and homes.
3.50pm- The opposition argues that not only people experiencing homelessness can benefit from this bill, but rather the whole community.
3.55pm- “Why is there nowhere to live in the world’s most livable city?” – Honourable Member Mozaffari.
4.00pm- The government proposed an amendment for the removal of offices as fixed addresses and rather use PO boxes instead. This has been denied.
4.02pm- “Aren’t lives more important than taxpayer money?” – Honourable Member Subassis De Azevedo
4.03pm- The opposition has called the Governments attitude to the homeless “callous”
4.05pm- After a division in Parliament, the amendment for reducing “monthly” checks on the homeless status of individuals to “quarterly” was a tie, of 29 votes no, and 29 votes for yes. The Speaker voted no, so the amendment has been denied.
4.10pm- The Bill titled Government-Owned Addresses for the Homeless has been passed in Youth Parliament