9 September 2021

Nick Dametto, Hinchinbrook MP and Robbie Katter, KAP Leader and Traeger MP.

Katter’s Australian Party MPs have called for a no-holds-barred roundtable with the Police Minister, Minister for Youth Justice, Regional Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Taylor and North Queensland MPs to be held within the next two weeks to address the ruinous state of Queensland’s youth justice system.

Robbie Katter, KAP Leader and Traeger MP, said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had allowed Townsville, and other North Queensland cities like Mount Isa and Cairns, to descend into mayhem.

“Our cities are now nothing but playgrounds for delinquent youths who have no life skills, no hope for a future and nothing to offer society at this point but carnage,” he said.

“Their offending, which has now turned predatory towards both residents and police, has escalated beyond the parameters of what the current broken youth justice system can try to deal with.

“We need new solutions, and we need Labor to stop playing silly buggers with their spin and manipulated data.”

Mr Katter said crime in his hometown of Mount Isa was eroding business confidence and viability.

“Businesses are now making decisions around whether to open or stay close based on the level of crime being reported in the community,” he said.

“While at the same time we have State Government saying they are getting on top of the issue.

“I have been hearing the message from the community – enough said.”

KAP Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said Townsville’s three Labor MPs needed to stand up for the community, or stand aside.

“Police are now being actively targeted by youth offenders, recently a magistrate’s home was broken into by adult offenders – this is an escalation in brazen attacks on our community, and those employed to uphold the law indicate there’s a dark new era of crime,” he said.

“This offending is premeditated – a cohort of youth offenders are now stealing cars, loading them up with house bricks and actively hunting down police offers who are doing their very best to keep our community safe.

“The KAP has a number of measures we believe need to be implemented to deter offending but it’s up to the State Government to at first accept that their laws are not working and the current punishment is not a deterrent to recidivist youth offenders..

“Who does the Government want to protect here?

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a front-line police officer right now on the streets of TownsviIle; these children have no respect for our community, the law or themselves.

“If I was an officer and had a house brick thrown at my vehicle while driving, I would find it very difficult not to discharge my firearm in defense.”

The KAP has reiterated its call for Relocation Sentencing – a policy that would send hardened, recidivist offenders to facilities in the bush for a 6-12 month period of rehabilitation as an alternative to short-term incarceration at over-crowded detention centres like Cleveland.

The party also wants further legislative changes for repeat offenders, including mandatory sentencing for particular crimes including break and enter and the amending of Section 150 of the Youth Justice Act to remove Clause 2e that states detention must be considered a last resort.


Nick Dametto MP