WA senator Jordon Steele-John visited Busselton on Friday to meet with youth and disability services and said the problems they faced in the South West were particularly visible.
Mr Steele-John said there were profound issues for youth and people living with a disability in this region which made it an important area for him to visit.
The senator visited three schools in the region to talk with students from Year 10 to Year 12 about the issues they thought were most important for the future of young people.
“We had conversations that were more substantive and more meaningful than many of the conversations I have in Canberra,” he said.
Mr John-Steele said he discussed with the students lowering the voting age to 16 years old, protecting the local environment and issues around jobs and educational opportunities in the region.
“They have to make a choice between succeeding - which means leaving - or staying where their family and friends are and where they have been brought up.
“How do we bring those educational and job opportunities to the regions?”
Mr Steele-John also met with disability stakeholder and advocacy groups including the South West Autism Network where they talked about the unique challenges faced by autistic Australians living in the region.
“We talked about some of the discrimination that still existed around employment and education and how we need to tackle those issues head on.”
As part of his role as senator, Mr Steele-John sits on the committee for the national broadband network and said the NBN was a “right-royal dog’s breakfast.”
“We will look back on the NBN and see it as one of the worst handled infrastructure projects in Australia’s history and not because of technology, not because of capacity or not because of Australian ingenuity.
“Simply because of pig-headed politics in Canberra.
“There was no more damaging decision ever made in the history of this project than move from fibre to the premises to a multi-technology mongrel.
“It has really caused problems, but we cannot lose faith in the project. The aspiration and need to ensure the Australian community is connected by fibre to the premises so we can communicate and integrate with our region.”