Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Proposal to Lower Voting Age to 16

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Proposal to Lower Voting Age to 16

Article excerpt

Byline: Arthur Gorrie

AUSTRALIANS and others living here have about two months to have their say on major structural changes to Australia's democracy, with federal government proposals to lower the voting age, stop some Australians from voting and extend the franchise to some people who are not Australian.

The Federal Government's Special Minister Joe Ludwig has released a proposal to reduce the voting age to 16, disenfranchise Australians living overseas and allow the vote to non-Australians living here. The green paper will be subject to public submissions over the next two months.

Currently people wishing to vote must be 18, but supporters of change say 16-year-olds pay tax and 17-year-olds are dealt with as adults in court if they break the law.

Sen Ludwig says the proposed changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act will be able to be reversed in the future, even if introduced.

The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in the 1970s. …

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