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Greens deny bid to lower voting age is a ploy to gain votes

The Victorian Greens will seek to lower the voting age for local government elections to 16 when parliament resumes next week in a historic move.

However, the party has denied the proposal is a ploy to get more votes from left-leaning youth.

Greens Spokesperson for Youth Sam Hibbins told the 3AW Drive host the party was overwhelmed with the response from young people who want their say on issues such as climate change, mental health and the cost of living.

“A good place to start, a modest change, would be to give young people the chance to vote at local government elections,” he told Tom Elliott.

“It is recognising a lot of young people are switched on, engaged, concerned about the future and by putting in this reform, it would give them the opportunity to have a say over the issues that affect them.”

The Drive host strongly disagrees with the proposal.

He says if we lower the voting age and treat 16-year-olds as adults, we might as well lower the age of criminal responsibility and drinking.

“This idea to extend the voting franchise down two years is ridiculous,” Tom said.

“We have collectively decided the age of adulthood in this country is 18 and that is young enough.

“Most 17-year-olds have no idea what they want to do in the world and that’s ok, because they’re still kids.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview