Mildura team members Ella Beard, Jordan Currie, Jemima Lotika, Chloe Horne, Brady Glen and Chloe Hosking.
By Mark Yin
Mildura’s representatives to the YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament are fighting for air conditioning in public housing.
Ella Beard, Jordan Currie, Jemima Lotika, Chloe Horne, Brady Glen and Chloe Hosking are taking part in the Youth Parliament, which gives young people across the state the opportunity to draft Bills that have the potential to become law.
To date, more than 30 Youth Parliament Bills have gone on to become law in Victoria and the Mildura team hopes theirs will be next.
“It’s an idea that has maybe flown under the radar,” Ms Beard said.
“But it’s a change that needs to be made for the sake of people in public housing, and their health and quality of life.”
The Bill seeks to establish a taskforce to install evaporative cooling systems in public housing developments across the state, including in Mildura.
The Bill follows a report last year from Mallee Family Care (MFC) and the University of Sydney, which found night temperatures in Sunraysia regularly exceeded World Health Organisation standards for acceptable sleeping temperatures.
MFC general manager Chris Forbes said the team was particularly concerned that a lack of air conditioning in public housing could heighten the risk of COVID-19 transmission as public housing residents head into another scorching summer.
“If there is a family member with a conditioning, other family members will try to come and stay so there’s multiple people sleeping in the house at one time,” Ms Forbes said.
“In light of COVID and with our summer coming, we are very concerned about this.”
Member for Mildura Ali Cupper backed the youth parliamentarians’ Bill.
“Air conditioning in a climate like ours is a matter of human rights.”
The Bill was passed to Minister for Youth Ros Spence on 29 September.
The article was originally published in the Sunraysia Daily.