Dametto calls for Youth Minister to add stops to Cairns crime trip

2nd September 2022

State Member for Hinchinbrook and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto.

As the Youth Justice Minister packs her bags and heads north to meet with far-north anti-crime campaigner Perri Conti[1], Deputy Leader of the Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto has called on the Hon. Leanne Linard to add further stops to her trip to North Queensland.

The Hinchinbrook MP said he was glad to hear the Minister was willing to make the time to travel to Cairns to meet directly with the crime petitioner, however the Government’s lackluster response to the petition tabled in Parliament didn’t leave him brimming with confidence.

“I’m glad the Minister is heading to Cairns, but if she has any chance of saving the Labor Government’s reputation on dealing with youth crime then she’s going to need to bring more than words and excuses,” Mr Dametto said.

“Queenslanders are sick hearing from the Minister that the Government’s 5-point action plan is working and although I’m anticipating that she spruiks Queensland has the toughest youth bail laws in the country, residents will be asking – what are the practical changes she plans to implement to stop the reoffending rate of recidivist youth offenders in the North.

“I invite the Minister to spend some time in Townsville and Mount Isa, where we need more than a fly-in, fly-out attitude when it comes to solving these issues.”

Mr Dametto said while he agreed that the Queensland youth crime problem was a deeply seated issue, the Government needed to readdress the root causes that were behind the youth crime and reoffending.

“In recent years while the Government have rolled out failed measures like the GPS ankle monitors, trips to the football and weekend retreats for youth offenders, the situation has only become worse,” Mr Dametto said.

“The reality is many of these juveniles involved in this crime cycle don’t come from supportive family networks, a lot of these children are in the care of the Government or are placed in residential care homes.

“Much of this crime is happening whilst these kids are in Government care, and if the Government has no legislative means of controlling these children, what hope do they have?

“Victims of crime want to see consequences for actions, the KAP have created a workable solution in our Relocation Sentencing Policy – which provides a third sentencing option for magistrates and would be a compulsory sentence out west, where these offenders would learn real life skills while being rehabilitated.

“I’m calling on the Minister to extend her trip to North Queensland and take a tour of the regions, hear from the victims and see for herself that the lack of action by the Palaszczuk Government is leading to dangerous division within our communities.”


[1] https://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/cairns-crime-what-fnq-demands-are-ahead-of-perri-contis-meeting-with-minister-leanne-linard/news-story/fc3b16cb593a17b618976d863d666b6c

Nick Dametto MP