Young people encouraged to apply for Labor’s Youth Congress are still waiting to hear if their applications were successful, four months after the Congress was due to begin.
Asked about the delay in Parliament on Tuesday, Youth Affairs Minister Jenny Mikakos blamed Australia Post, despite applicants confirming that all correspondence with them to date has been via phone and email.
Ms Mikakos said the letters were signed, but ‘must still be making their way through Australia Post’s unreliable and slow service’.
Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan said the bizarre claim didn’t explain the four-month delay.
“The Andrews Government touted the Youth Congress as a flagship project designed so young people could get a genuine say in the development of policy, yet four months after it was due to begin people don’t even know if their applications have been accepted or rejected,” Ms Ryan said.
“Jenny Mikakos is so distracted by the crisis in the youth justice system that she has little time for young Victorians who want to make a positive contribution to our state.
“I have spoken with three young people from different parts of Victoria who applied to be on Youth Congress and not one has been advised on the outcome of their application.
“When they were interviewed in June they were told they would be contacted in the next four weeks, advising them of the outcome.
“These applications have been gathering dust on the Minister’s desk for months, awaiting her signature.
“Jenny Mikakos has done nothing but pay lip service to the participation of young people in shaping policy.”
When they were asked to apply, young people were required to fill out an application form which stated they would be required for a ‘12 month commitment from late June 2017 to 30 June 2018’.