Kids penning concerns, ideas to parliament

Xanthe Cooper has written a climate change speech she hopes will be read in federal parliament.
Xanthe Cooper has written a climate change speech she hopes will be read in federal parliament.

When grade four student Xanthe Cooper got tired of homeschool one day, her mother suggested she write a speech for federal parliament.

Mum Kara had spotted a campaign on social media, called Raise Our Voice in Parliament, where more than 40 MPs have volunteered to read a speech by a young Australian in the House of Representatives or Senate.

Xanthe has lived through two major bushfires in the past six years at her NSW Blue Mountains home and twice had to flee not knowing if she would ever return.

"It was hard every time ... we would go somewhere and leave all our pets," the 10-year-old told AAP.

So it's perhaps no surprise the Mount Victoria Public School student mentioned in her address that she is worried about climate change.

"When we grow up and become adults we don't want to be left a garbage pile of Australia to clean up," it reads.

The government has not done enough to deal with the problem, according to Xanthe.

"We need green energy not coal."

Xanthe says she isn't sure if she'd ever enter politics herself, telling AAP she's not sure if people would listen to her speech.

But her mother says children Xanthe's age have achieved a "whole new level" of political awareness, in part due to their experiences with bushfires.

"The younger ones are definitely more passionate and switched on that my generation was at their age," she told AAP.

"The kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for."

One of the MPs participating in the campaign, NSW Liberal Dave Sharma, says it's a good way of engaging young people in politics and the parliamentary processes.

"A political system is only as good as we make it," he told SBS.

"It's the collective good of all of us ... and if people are disengaged or disenfranchised we will get worse policy, worse decisions, but also potentially a worse political system."

The Raise Our Voice in Parliament campaign is open to anyone living in Australia under the age of 21, with speech submissions open until September 21.

Those chosen will be read out by MPs in parliament in October.

Australian Associated Press