Renewed push for NSW to raise age of criminal responsibility to 14

More than a dozen organisations have formed a coalition to push the New South Wales government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14, arguing the status quo is harming young people and entrenching social issues.

The lead campaigner for Raise the Age NSW, Emily Mayo, said the change of government meant the time was ripe to revisit the issue.

‘What we do now hurts children,’ she said. ‘It harms families and it hurts communities and it doesn’t work, it doesn’t deliver.’

Mayo said it was possibly the first time that such a broad and influential group of organisations – which includes Antar, the NSW Council of Social Service and the teachers’ union – had united on an issue.

She said the group had ‘a sense of hope and a sense of promise’ that Labor would raise the age, although the premier, Chris Minns, has not indicated that his government would.

‘What we hope to do is to have discussions with the government in the coming weeks and for them to commit to raising the age to 14,’ Mayo said. ‘We are meeting with the attorney general in the coming weeks. That’s really promising.’

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