Geelong Youth Council’s top priority: soft plastic recycling

The introduction of a bin beautification project and a soft-plastic recycling system for the home are among recommendations put forward by the City of Greater Geelong’s Youth Council in its second report of 2022.

By Wes Cusworth, Media and Communications Officer, City of Greater Geelong

The Youth Council identified a bin-beautification initiative as having the potential to help combat litter in the community, with a soft plastics project put forward as an important step in assisting Council in its quest to reduce waste and recycle more effectively.

“The subjects of waste and recycling really caught our attention and we identified them as areas where we could work together with Council to really make a difference in our community,” Junior Mayor Wren Rowbottom said.

Along with the waste and recycling priorities, the Youth Council identified providing equitable and safe spaces for young people, supporting a dedicated youth space in central Geelong, and improving the mental health and wellbeing of youth as areas of importance.

In line with the recommendations put forward by the Youth Council, the City of Greater Geelong is currently undertaking a feasibility study to inform decision making regarding the future development of designated youth spaces.

In addition, the city municipality is considering the waste and recycling proposals which would expand upon existing initiatives relating to soft plastics and messages on public place bins.

Second Youth Council report
The Youth Council in Geelong is a group of 12 young people, aged 12 to 17, who were elected to the city’s Youth Council Advisory Committee for a 12-month term to provide the region’s official “youth voice”, with three representatives from each Council ward: Bellarine, Brownbill, Kardinia and Windermere.

The second Youth Council report for 2022 aligns with the community-led 30-year Vision, “Greater Geelong: A Clever and Creative Future” community aspiration: An inclusive, diverse, healthy and socially connected community.

Junior Mayor Wren Rowbottom said Youth Council members were grateful to Councillors and other staff for their support in their Councillor Connect Mentoring Program.

“Youth Council members have really enjoyed speaking to and learning from Councillors about a range of topics relevant to our region,” Rowbottom said.

Since their election in January, the Youth Council members have participated in training with the Victorian Local Governance Association and joined in the Women in Local Democracy event, while the Deputy Junior Mayor interviewed political journalist Annabel Crabb as part of International Women’s Day.

Mayor Peter Murrihy welcomed the 2022 Youth Council’s second report.

“I’d like to congratulate the 2022 Youth Council on its achievements so far; they’re a really capable group of young people who represent the diverse perspectives of their many peers across the region,” Mayor Murrihy said.

“As Councillors we’re grateful to see such engaged and committed young members of our community actively advocating for an even better Geelong.”

Councillor Sarah Mansfield agreed that the Youth Council provided a valuable advisory role to Council.

“The group has identified significant priority areas, and it’s pleasing to see the younger members of our community on the front foot with ideas that have the potential for real impact in our community,” Cr Mansfield said.

“The youth of Geelong have shown remarkable resilience in recent years, and I welcome this update on their work and achievements. It’s always refreshing to hear the region’s youth voice with regard to advice and recommendations for the betterment of the broader population.”

Photo above: City of Greater Geelong’s Junior Mayor Wren Rowbottom.

Geelong Indy – 29th July 2022