Lowering the voting age will give young people a say on policy decisions that directly affect them, says a youth advocacy group in response to a Greens Bill that would give 16 and 17 year olds a choice to vote.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said lowering the age gives 16 and 17 year olds the chance to voluntarily participate in democracy.
"Contrary to inaccurate stereotypes, young people are smart, passionate, and politically engaged. They understand just how important their vote could be," she said.
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"The decisions made by elected representatives now will affect young people more than anyone else. It's only fair they should be given the power to influence who is making those decisions."
A previous attempt by the Australian Greens to lower the federal voting age to 16 was rejected due to vague public support on the issue.
But Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive Tania Hunt said many young people would welcome the opportunity to vote on issues that are important to them, such as climate justice, mental health, employment, education and training.
"There are already a range of government regulated activities that recognise and support the right of young people under the age of 18 to make decisions regarding their own life," she said.
"[They can] commence military service, obtain a provisional driver's license, make independent medical decisions, live independently, work full time and pay income tax.
"Lowering the vote to 16 years will support young people's engagement with the political system and empower them to have a say on policy decisions that directly affect them now and in the future."
A recent study published in Parliamentary Affairs found that those who voted at a younger age were more politically engaged across their lifetime.
Australia's Federal voting age was lowered to 18 from 21 in 1973, which followed a New South Wales decision to lower the vote age in 1970.
In recent years, countries around the world have lowered the voting age to 16, including Scotland, Austria, Argentina. Just last year Wales, East Timor and Greece lowed their voting age to 16, with Indonesia lowering their voting age to 17.
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