Hear us Premier: Townsville youth crime rally

25 October 2023

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader Nick Dametto has delivered a powerful speech in parliament about the unprecedented crime unfolding across Townsville this past week.[1] The speech came just days ahead of the Premier’s visit to Townsville for regional cabinet where it is expected she will be greeted by a crowd of residents to rally against out-of-control youth crime in Townsville.

In the last seven days, Queensland Police figures show that more than 100 charges of unlawful entry have been laid in Townsville as well as over 50 charges of unlawful use of motor vehicle. That equates to more than 14 break and enters and seven unlawful use of motor vehicle offences per day.[2]

The Hinchinbrook MP said that although the Queensland Police figures were staggering, they didn’t match up to the information he had received from members of the community including victims who have reached out to share their stories.

“Just yesterday, there were 13 stolen cars taken in a twenty-four hour period. What’s actually happening out on the streets is far worse than what is reflected in the published crime figures because not every offence results in an arrest and a charge,” Mr Dametto said.

Our Government needs to look beyond the figures that they get delivered in a nice neat spreadsheet everyday and actually get out onto the street to see for themselves that the Youth Justice Act is failing this state and those young offenders are laughing at everything they are getting away with right now.

“What really concerns me is the public’s rapidly declining confidence in the Queensland Police Service to protect them. The Police Minister must do something with regard to motivating our police who are at an all time low in morale because they don’t feel like they’re being supported.

“It’s a grim reality when you know that young thieves can throw rocks and bricks at police and chase police cars across the city like a game of cat and mouse. They do this knowing they are untouchable, because they know our laws will do nothing to punish or deter that type of behaviour.

“Like all kids, they need boundaries, and this Government is failing to impose boundaries that have any impact on these out of control and destructive individuals.

“I am encouraging residents across Townsville to attend Queensland Country Bank Stadium during the Premier’s visit on Sunday to demand more from the State Labor Government. They haven’t explored all  options and if anything, crime has only escalated since their last misguided attempt at cracking down on crime.

“Back in August, Katter’s Australian Party released our comprehensive youth crime policy on Relocation Sentencing to the Premier and her Ministers that would see these hard-core recidivist offenders removed from their comfortable, inner-city, criminal circles and rehabilitated in a remote environment, free from substances and negative peer and family influences.

“For a government that is out of options and barren of solutions, it would be wise for them to be adopting this policy which has been heavily endorsed by Queenslanders.”

Rally organiser, Clynton Hawks said he hoped the rally would apply much needed pressure on a government that neglects to enact the necessary legislation that could make a dramatic impact on the rate of crime in our once safe city.

“Many who attend the rally will want these thug criminals to be locked up first and foremost. Others will want to see increased policing power so our hard-working police officers can do the job they are trained to do,” he said.

“The rest will want to send these criminals bush.

“The crime situation in Townsville has definitely worsened in recent months. Elderly people are being mugged and bashed for their keys, convoys of up to ten stolen cars rampage across our city, but the politicians in Brisbane and the three that bench warm the Townsville seats refuse to admit their laws are failing the people of Townsville and Queensland.”


[1] Parliament Hansard, Adjournment Speech, pg. 3178,  https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/events/han/2023/2023‌_10_24_DAILY.pdf

[2] https://qps-ocm.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/index.html

Nick Dametto MP