Congratulations to the three Maitland members of the YMCA Youth Parliament, John Leao, James Peters and Grace Ahrens.
Today I congratulate the three Maitland members of the YMCA Junior Parliament that was held in this place in September. Premier John Leao, Health Minister James Peters, and Juvenile Justice Minister Grace Ahrens were all fantastic representatives for Maitland.
I was pleased to see them all participate in a debate on a bill to reduce recidivism amongst young offenders—an issue that was discussed at a breakfast this morning in this place in relation to women prisoners. The junior parliamentarians were eloquent and passionate about rehabilitating young people in our community who have committed crimes.
I have since met with these three young people, and continue to be impressed by their maturity and understanding of complex social issues. Their participation in this program gave me, as a new member of Parliament, a great opportunity to really understand the benefits of this important program run by the YMCA.
Unfortunately in their short tenure they could not get the Maitland hospital built, but I am sure they will be there to build it some day in the future. Congratulations to all concerned.