Mr Siyavash Doostkhah, the Director of YANQ said, “This is a new government with some inexperienced Ministers who are making some serious mistakes.
“The knowledge vacuum in which decisions are being made is a very concerning sign. The Minister responsible for youth has not been seeking briefings from her department’s Office For Youth and has defunded the only peak body for the youth sector in Queensland, YANQ.”
Youth Workers from various parts of the state, and in particular rural and isolated workers, are very concerned as the demand and expectations of them continues to grow, but the support they need to undertake their work has all but disappeared.
Minister Davis has repeatedly said that her Department’s priority will be disability issues and child safety. YANQ agrees that these are areas which require specific attention but believes it would be remiss of the government to neglect youth issues.
YANQ is also concerned that this type of prioritisation of issues as opposed to a holistic social planning process follows what had been happening for many years under the previous Labor Governments. Peak bodies were forced to compete for policy space and it is this competition, which distracts from joint planning and collaborative processes.
YANQ has launched an online petition at http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/campbell-newman-restore-funding-to-the-youth-affairs-network-queensland#, which in the first day has received over 600 signatures. The comments left by youth workers from across the state who signed the petition could provide a good briefing for the Minister responsible for youth as to the value of the peak body she has just defunded.
CONTACT: Siyavash Doostkhah, Director, Youth Affairs Network of Queensland Phone (07) 3844 7713 or 0407 655 785