A 19-year-old openly gay candidate has emerged as one of the ALP’s picks for the upcoming Queensland state poll.
Ryan Moore will seek election in the seat of Glass House, which covers the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
A volunteer at Brisbane community broadcaster 4ZZZ who was inspired to join the Labor Party after a chance encounter with former prime minister Kevin Rudd, Moore has been a fierce gay rights advocate since becoming politically active two years ago.
“My work with 4ZZZ sparked my interest in politics and the difference it can make in people’s lives,” Moore told the Star Observer.
“In terms of the Labor Party, I saw how Kevin Rudd interacted with an organisation I worked for called the Oaktree Foundation, which funds educational projects in the third world, and was amazed at his support.”
Moore now sees himself thrown onto a much larger stage than community radio, where he intends to run on local issues while retaining his strong passion for LGBTI community advocacy.
No stranger to successful young candidates (see: 21-year-old Wyatt Roy’s successful federal election bid last year), Moore says its no big secret as to why Queensland has become a breeding ground for enthusiastic young players in politics.
“I think the political scene is rejuvinating and the ALP is refreshing itself,” he said.
“I’m not the only young candidate, we have another 19-year-old in Southern Downs and some people in their early 20s running in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.
“Parties recognise the need to rejuvinate and engage with a demographic that often aren’t represented in Parliament.”
Labor lost Glass House in the 2009 election to the Liberal National Party’s Andrew Powell, but Moore believes he’s well placed to challenge.
“I’ve lived in Maleny for a very long time and looking at the LNP’s plan for Queensland – which is to rip away years of reform with very little structure to doing so – once I have an opportunity to get into that with the community, I’m in with a good chance,” he said.
In light of the recent threat by Independent MP Rob Messenger to repeal the state’s Civil Partnerships Act, Moore said he’ll be ready to defend the legislation if elected.
“I don’t think it matters whether it’s Rob Messenger or the LNP, there’s going to be a push to repeal [civil unions] in the next term,” he said.
“The funny thing is the LNP have have spoken about how they think it’s a waste of time in Parliament in the first place and how it’s a distraction, so why do they want to repeal it?
“Parliament is not here to take away people’s rights, and rights they’ve fought very hard for at that. If there is a push for a repeal I’ll be standing steadfastly against it.”