No expense spared for Woodford’s new youth detention

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader Nick Dametto.

28 February 2024

The State Government have recently announced the start of construction on their new $620 million dollar youth detention centre in Woodford which will consist of 80 beds at a staggering cost of over $7.8 million per bed, a price tag that has infuriated people across the State.

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader Nick Dametto said the State Government should make the most of an election year and be looking outside the box for youth crime solutions, not resorting to pouring taxpayer money into a facility that resembles a luxurious holiday house for young offenders.

“Queenslanders can no longer be bought off by large dollar figures being flouted on a glossy document, they want to see bang for buck for their tax dollars,” Mr Dametto said.

“Youth offenders that pose a risk to the community must be locked up, but it must be done in a cost-effective way and acts as a deterrent, constructing a 5-star holiday resort does none of those things.

“This State Government is creating a situation where the most heinous youth criminals will be treated better than our pensioners and aged care facility residents.

“Recently I began to think we were turning a corner with Labor’s approach to youth crime, but it goes to show that old habits really do die hard.

“Premier Miles took the Government way beyond their comfort zone in recent weeks by announcing a revamped On Country program designed at getting young offenders out of the community and away from negative influences.

“But less than a week later we receive confirmation of Labor’s exorbitant spend on a new deluxe youth detention facility in the south-east that appears to be a gloat of how much money they can spend.

“It’s pretty hurtful to think that we’ve got good working families out there living in their cars or at caravan parks because they can’t find affordable housing and the decision to funnel such a substantial sum into a single facility for criminals is nothing short of disrespectful to every Queenslander.

“If a new detention centre for 80 beds costs over half a billion dollars, I will be eager to find out from Government how many millions they are going to commit to the new On Country program.”


Nick Dametto MP