In the new year, the Greens and Independent MP Monique Ryan will once again push for the lowering of Australia’s voting age.
Ryan will introduce a private member’s bill that would require 17- and 16-year-olds to vote, but without the threat of penalties.
She will also work with the Greens on a bill that would extend the franchise with a voluntary option.
Following a court ruling in New Zealand that the country’s voting age is discriminatory, Prime Minister Ardern allowed a debate to be held on lowering it.
Don Farrell, the special minister of state for Australia, also indicated that the government would not rule out the lowering of the voting age.
According to Ryan, the issue of lowering the voting age came up during her campaign for the Kooyong seat.
During this time, young constituents stated that they have other responsibilities such as paying taxes and having kids.
She said that it was fair to raise the voting age, noting that some issues such as climate change would affect young people more.
She suggested that the government should introduce legislation that would allow 17- and 16-year-olds to vote.
It would not require them to pay fines if they don’t participate in the elections.