Harry’s got big plans
TRINITY Catholic College student Harry Gregg is a young man champing at the bit to change the world he's about to inherit.
The Year 10 student has just been chosen to represent Lismore as an MLC in the NSW Youth Parliament
"I've been interested in politics since 2007 (but) as a young person it's about my future, so I should have a say in that," he said.
"Coal seam gas is a big issue for me and it's certainly something I intend to bring up in the youth parliament - I don't think it should be allowed here. There are no benefits and the science is there now around methane emissions - the increases in greenhouse gas contribute to climate change, which is another issue I'm passionate about.
"I'm also big on workers' rights. I've campaigned in the past against WorkChoices, but also issues like education and equal opportunity really inspire me to get out in the community and make change, and Youth Parliament is a great way to do that."
Harry is interested in a future career in politics but first he wants to study law and has aspirations to be an international human rights lawyer.
"To go overseas and fight for refugees or work for an organisation like Amnesty International would be something I would really like to do with my life," he said.
"But also a career in politics... when I look up to politicians, I mean not a lot of people get inspired these days, but I find a way - I mean just look at the great community advocates like Janelle Saffin and Jenny Dowell and other politicians in the past who have made real change in people's lives.
"I'm an MLC in the upper house so I get to look at, amend and approve bills, but there are no political parties in the Youth Parliament so we get to vote with our conscience.
"I'm on the standing committee for infrastructure and planning, so we have to produce reports and we've submitted several ideas. I've pushed for the ability for farmers to reject mining on their properties - this is a big local issue for me - and I think there should be greater planning powers for local government."