The challenges faced by regional youth were foremost in discussions when Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson met with students at Gunnedah High School this week.

Mr Anderson said the discussion at the High School is one of around 30 consultation sessions the NSW Government, in collaboration with the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP) is undertaking across regional NSW.

“The NSW Government is aware of the challenges too often faced by young people in rural and remote areas and the consultations are the vital first step in helping to shape new policy options. 

“We see huge opportunities to improve outcomes for young people in our region and in regional NSW.

“Some of the key takeaway points from the students included better public transport options, more job opportunities and more communication with youth.

“These consultations provide valuable feedback directly from local young people about their experiences with a range of issues and topics including career prospects and employment, mental health, homelessness, drugs and alcohol.

“Insights from these discussions will help to shape how the NSW Government plans and provides support to young people in regional NSW.

“Thanks to the young people who gave us their time and their honest and open feedback today to help improve the lives of their peers across the state.

“There are some complex challenges on the table, that’s why we are investing the time now to get the in-depth analysis and valuable face-to-face feedback we need to deliver appropriate and effective solutions.”

“The NSW Government has long prioritised opportunities for young people, having established the NSW Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People in 2014.

“This year we introduced 100,000 free apprenticeships for young people and in April we committed an extra $13.9 million to provide 24/7 crisis beds and support for homeless youth – this consultation is an important next step to tackle the tough issues for young people in regional parts of NSW,” Mr Anderson concluded.

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The Nationals - For Regional Australia