Cassie Keogh of Evans Head and Taylor McBeath of Broadwater with Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis outside the YMCA Youth Parliament. Photo Contributed
Cassie Keogh of Evans Head and Taylor McBeath of Broadwater with Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis outside the YMCA Youth Parliament. Photo Contributed Contributed

Aspiring politicians test ability

TAYLOR McBeath of Broadwater and Cassie Keogh of Evans Head mixed it with other aspiring young politicians from across the state recently when they took part in the YMCA Youth Parliament in Sydney.

The parliament, which comprised 110 "youth MPs" representing each electorate in the state, gave the pair the opportunity to identify issues relating to young people and to formulate legislative solutions in a mock-parliament setting.

Representing the Clarence, Taylor, who aspires to be a politician or a judge, said the experience was valuable in providing an insight into the legislative process and the various formalities of parliament.

"The formalities were a bit ridiculous but you need to learn them," Taylor said.

He explained a three-day camp preceded the parliament at which groups were formed to investigate issues and develop mock-legislation.

"My group was investigating parliamentary and legal reform and for our issue we decided to make a bill about euthanasia," he said.

"Our committee thought it was the right of a citizen to be able to euthanase themselves in the event that their life becomes unbearable because of terminal illness, so then we went and debated that in parliament."

The bill successfully passed the youth parliament.

"I was pleased to be able to support Taylor and Cassie by attending the opening ceremony and by acting as parliamentary speaker for one of the debates in the legislative assembly," the real member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, said.

"The YMCAs Youth Parliament gave young people a fantastic opportunity to sit in the chamber of our own policy makers."

Bills which passed the youth parliament were presented to the State Government following the event.



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