There’s less than a week left for young people to be involved in one of the NSW Nationals’ landmark election policies, as we establish a dedicated voice for regional youth.

Applications to join the first-ever Regional Youth Taskforce with will close on Monday, August 5.

NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor urged young people to stand up for their peers and apply for one of the 18 available taskforce positions, which will have the unique chance to give advice and feedback directly to the Minister for Regional Youth, and in-turn Cabinet, on the key issues that affect young people from their area.

“The application process has so far attracted a fantastic response from applicants who have been keen to suggest their solutions to address the key issues affecting them, including mental health, unemployment and homelessness,” Ms Taylor said. “The response from youth living in regional NSW has been great with bright ideas flooding in, but we would love to hear more from younger teenagers as well as youth in western NSW to ensure an even representation that accurately represents the community.”

“This will become the platform for young people in regional NSW to champion local causes, represent friends, classmates and family, and play a part in making decisions that will help to drive change in their regional towns.”

Ms Taylor said the great thing about the Regional Youth Taskforce was that original ideas and personal experience were valued, so young people from all backgrounds could throw their hat in the ring.

“This is not based on academic results – we want to receive applications from everybody because that means decision-makers will hear from a broad cross-section of youth from our regional communities,” Ms Taylor said. “The more diverse the inaugural Regional Youth Taskforce, the stronger the platform will become to give us a better picture of what young people genuinely want for their regional communities. Different parts of the State face different challenges, so we will be looking to secure members from each of the nine NSW regions – if you know someone who is full of ideas to drive change, please encourage them to apply.”

Ms Taylor said the Nationals in Government were already working to tackle issues facing youth in regional NSW through a series of initiatives and programs, including $50 million for regional youth in the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“I am delighted that we founded the first-ever Office of Regional Youth, and we will work with the Taskforce on finalising the State’s first Regional Youth Strategy to address challenges in regional NSW,” Ms Taylor said. “This Taskforce will also bring our regional youth to the forefront of our decision-making process, but I still want young people to know that even if they are in the Taskforce, I am still here as your voice in Government and am always ready to listen.”

The group will meet twice a year in person and twice a year via video conference to share their thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Applicants must live in regional areas (outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong local government areas) and be aged between 12 and 24 years.

To find out more or submit an application, click here.