Australia's youngest parliamentarian, Western Australian Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, has called on the new federal Youth Minister Richard Colbeck to convey the concerns young people have around climate change to the Coalition party room.
At 24, Senator Steele-John is the youngest member of the Federal Parliament, while Senator Colbeck, a Devonport-based Tasmanian Liberal senator, has just been elevated to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's new ministry.
Mr Morrison announced on Sunday that Senator Colbeck will hold the Youth, Aged Care, Senior Australians and Sport portfolios.
Senator Colbeck's Tasmanian Liberal Senate colleague Jonathon Duniam was also given a number of assistant ministries and made Deputy Leader of Government Business in the Senate.
Senator Colbeck's promotion comes after what many dubbed "the climate election".
Remarkably, the victors were less than a year out from an ungodly brawl over energy and climate policy which tore Malcolm Turnbull's government apart and ended his prime ministership.
Senator Steele-John - who made his entrance to Canberra in 2017 when former WA Greens senator Scott Ludlam resigned due to citizenship issues - said the new Youth Minister, the nation's first since 2014, struck him as someone who was "at least willing to listen" to young people's concerns about climate.
"When it comes to a Liberal taking this portfolio ... the challenge is to be willing, on behalf of the community you've now been given the honour to serve, to challenge the elements within the government that are resisting climate action and try to turn them around on it," Senator Steele-John told The Examiner.
"Because at the end of the day, there is no greater issue when it comes to young people than action on climate change.
"[Senator Colbeck] now has a profound responsibility to listen to the tens of thousands of young people who are alive with a desire for urgent action and bring that desire ... into the government."
Senator Steele-John appeared to have a relatively warm opinion of Senator Colbeck, saying he'd "had a couple of conversations" with him in the past.
"He's an eminently reasonable man and he's as capable of reading the [climate] science and understanding the global context as the next person," Senator Steele-John said.
"And I will be extremely disappointed if he just blandly toes the line on an issue where everybody knows we need to do better.
"[Senator Colbeck] cannot effectively represent young people and be jumping up and down singing the praises of Adani."
The Greens senator also urged the newly minted minister to attend international student climate strike events in Australia this September. He said an "uncontroversial decision" Senator Colbeck could make would be to restore annual funding for the nation's peak youth body - the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
There is no greater issue when it comes to young people than action on climate change.Senator Jordon Steele-John
Senator Colbeck said he was "delighted" that he'd been made responsible for both the Aged Care and Youth portfolios because "it acknowledges that age should not divide our community".
"Most young people are quiet Australians, working hard to find a job, gain an education, save up for a house and start a family, and our government is committed to supporting these aspirations," he said.
"Young people in regional areas are particularly sensitive to the need for a strong economy to provide opportunities for them to grow."
The senator did not respond to a question on climate change.
YOUTH ADVOCATES 'EXCITED' BY MINISTER'S APPOINTMENT
AYAC chairperson Katie Acheson was unreserved in her support for the decision to reinstate the youth ministry at the federal level.
"It's really exciting ... because 4.5 million young people aged 12-25 are going to have somebody in Parliament House who wakes up everyday and thinks, 'How is this decision going to affect young people?'" Ms Acheson said.
"What we've seen in the past couple of years is a number of different approaches that haven't necessarily addressed the needs of young people."
Ms Acheson said some of Senator Colbeck's priorities should include addressing youth unemployment, youth mental health, education costs and "the mismatch between jobs and skills development".
Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT) chief executive Tania Hunt also welcomed Senator Colbeck's appointment to the ministry.
"We very much look forward to working with Senator Colbeck in his role to advocate for young people's needs and concerns across policy areas that impact on their lives," Ms Hunt said.
Like Senator Steele-John, Ms Hunt cited climate change as "a significant concern for young people".
YNOT is represented on the AYAC board.