 Crucial that Youth Network of Tasmania funded appropriately
 Tasmanian kids want a voice but Liberals won’t give them a hearing
 Youth peak organisation now receiving less money than seven years ago
The Hodgman Liberal Government is ignoring the next generation of Tasmanian voters by refusing to adequately fund the state’s peak youth organisation.
Shadow Minister for Youth Josh Willie today called on Premier Will Hodgman and Treasurer Peter Gutwein to immediately commit to increased funding for the Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT) and other community groups and guaranteeing their future beyond this month when they face significant cuts.
Joining with YNOT board member Griffin Blizzard today, Mr Willie said YNOT is facing significant funding challenges under the Liberal government.
“For the past seven years, YNOT has received the same level of core funding but that funding is not indexed and that means each year YNOT effectively faces a cut in real terms,” Mr Willie said.
“That leaves YNOT in a perilous situation – they face a serious imbalance between rising costs and the amount of government funding they receive.
“Mr Gutwein and Mr Hodgman are well aware of this disparity.
“Labor has committed to fund YNOT at the levels it requires and today the government needs to match that commitment.
“Tasmania has 87,000 youths and young people and YNOT is the peak body for those important voices which includes more than 300 sector workers across all areas of youth welfare throughout Tasmania.
“YNOT is critical in keeping government informed on crucial issues like education and employment, mental health and housing.
“The group also carries out research which plays an important role in keeping governments of the day informed on those critical issues.
“The group is a true asset to Tasmanian youth and just recently, many young people participated in the biennial Tasmanian Youth Conference. This event is at risk, along with YNOT’s capacity to represent young people and their needs to government.
“Mr Hodgman ignores the needs of our youth at his peril – they are the next generation of voters and they are watching this government very closely.
“A re-elected Majority Labor Government would be firmly behind YNOT and the important work it does. Mr Hodgman needs to be clear about whether his government supports young people through their peak organisation or not.”
*YNOT has a current petition calling on the Liberal Government to continue the delivery of its services. It can be found on their website.
Josh Willie MLC Shadow Minister for Youth