Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today encouraged young people across the Cootamundra electorate to get in their applications to join NSW’s first ever Regional Youth Taskforce which will give youth a chance to have their say on local issues.

Ms Cooke said the taskforce will be made up of 18 members who will meet regularly and provide direct advice and feedback to NSW Government agencies and Ministers on policy decisions and local action plans regarding youth.

“To the young people living in our region, this is your chance to be heard, to voice your opinion on local issues, to represent your mates and peers and to help make decisions that will drive change in your own community,” Ms Cooke said.

“Unemployment and mental health are just some of the challenges in our area and we will be working to address these with the help of the Taskforce.

“We know each region has different challenges, that’s why we are seeking an even representation of two members from each of the nine NSW regions – if you are aged 12 to 24 and have an idea for youth in our community, this is a great time to share it.”

Temora, Bland, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Coolamon and Narrandera fall within the Riverina Murray region, Hilltops sits within South East and Tablelands and Weddin and Cowra fall within the Central West and Orana region.

Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor said work is underway to address issues facing young people in regional NSW through multiple initiatives including the $50 million announced for regional youth through the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“I am pleased to say the NSW Government has established the first ever Office for Regional Youth and we will soon release the State’s first Regional Youth Strategy to address challenges in regional NSW,” Mrs Taylor said.

“The young people of today will become the leaders of tomorrow which is why the NSW Government wants to ensure our regional youth are front and centre throughout the decision-making process.”

Travel costs and accommodation will be covered for Regional Youth Taskforce members travelling across NSW for meetings.

To find out more or submit an application visit www.nsw.gov.au/RegionalYouthTaskforce. Applications are open until 11:59pm August 5 2019. ty47 \lsdlocke