THE City of Greater Bendigo has received more than double the number of applications for its new youth council than it has positions.
About 47 applicants are in the running for 18 roles.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the city was thrilled by the interest in the initiative, which has not been offered in the city for a number of years.
“It would be great to have all 47 [applicants], but we do need to make sure that it's a workable process and we’re looking forward to having opportunities to work with the youth council on different things,” Cr O’Rourke said.
The Bendigo Youth Council is expected to be invited to have an input into the development of the city’s Economic Development Statement and Strategy.
People aged 14 – 24 years were invited to express interest in the council. Applications closed on November 30, with appointments to be made this month.
Inductions are scheduled for January, with the first meeting to take place in February.
“The youth council is something this council was really keen to reinvigorate,” Cr O’Rourke said.
She said it had been many years since the city had a youth council.
“We often say local government is an environment that is not easy for young people to be involved in. Obviously, they have other commitments,” Cr O’Rourke said.
She said being a councillor required a significant time commitment and was remunerated at a fairly low level.
“So there are people that haven’t got the ability to do that and also do other activities,” Cr O’Rourke said.
“We feel that sometimes our young people are left out of that process because they may not have the life circumstances that enable them to be a councillor.
“It is really important, we think, to get the voice of the young people. That’s why we’re excited that we’ve had a great number of applicants and we’ll go through that process of selection.”
Greater Bendigo is home to about 18,700 young people.
The city expects the number of young people living in the local government area to grow to 25,900 by 2036.