The YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament (QYP) is a unique opportunity for young people to create real change in Queensland. QYP participants, known as Youth Members, are the voice of youth in their electorates, advising politicians and decision-makers across the state. Every year, new Youth Members engage in a six-month program, where they’ll work in a small team (portfolio) to write a Bill proposing a law reform they are passionate about. Following this, Youth Members have the rare opportunity to debate their Bill at Parliament House in Brisbane.
This year, the RARE (Resources, Agriculture and Regional Economies) portfolio is exploring legislative strategies to mitigate Brisbane’s urban sprawl. QYP Members have identified that, despite being the third most populous city in Australia, Brisbane is by far the largest in physical footprint, and one of the least-dense cities in the world. Considering that we live on a continent on which arable land is highly valuable for both agricultural and sustainability purposes, QYP Members have identified Brisbane’s current pattern of urban development as extremely unsustainable and harmful in economic, environmental and social spheres.
Youth Members have also noted that cities with a much denser, more efficient model of development, such as many cities in Europe, can lead to a better quality of life for their residents. YM’s believe that denser building would help alleviate the housing supply and affordability crisis, and encourage those who wish to live in lower-density environments to move to regional areas, which are currently suffering from unsustainable outward migration and brain drain.
QYP reached out to UQ|UP’s Dorina Pojani to explore ways of ensuring that future developments within South-East Queensland, including the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, are built in a way that makes efficient use of land, and moves away from what is currently a highly car-dependent, low-density model. We had a great discussion in preparation for QYP’s Bill.