Regional hearings confirmed for Youth Justice Bill
NORTH Queenslanders will be able to have their say on the State Labor Government’s Youth Justice Bill after the Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Safety Committee confirmed regional hearings would be held this month.
The move follows calls by Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto for regional hearings given the extent of the youth crime crisis facing the region.
“I was pleased to receive confirmation this afternoon that the Committee will be having hearings at Mt Isa, Cairns and Townsville this month. North Queenslanders deserve a voice on this Bill and whether or not it goes far enough to addressing the horrific level of crime,” Mr Dametto said.
“I would expect the Committee will be in for some sobering findings from victims of crime.”
Mr Dametto said he had received permission from the Committee to request permission to attend and ask questions of witnesses during the Townsville public hearing on March 19. Meanwhile, KAP leader Robbie Katter will be making a written submission to the committee on the Bill.
A Townsville hearing will also be held the day prior on March 18, with a Mt Isa hearing on March 16 and two hearings in Cairns on March 17 and 18.
“Katter’s Australian Party has been relentless in fighting for real solutions to address the scourge of crime in our towns and cities. This Bill is a small step forward but goes nowhere near far enough to implement real deterrents and punishments to young offenders,” Mr Dametto said.
“That’s why we’ve prepared strong amendments which we will attempt to introduce into parliament once the Bill comes back to parliament to be debated.”
The KAP’s amendments will institute a minimum of 12 months imprisonment to be served wholly in a corrective services facility (detention centre or approved remote property) for recidivist young offenders who commit either Unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessel, Burglary and Entering or being in premises and committing indictable offences
The amendments will also define a recidivist offender as someone who has been convicted of those serious offences at least twice, regardless of whether the offences were the same.
“There is strength in numbers and it’s time for victims of crime to have their voice heard,” Mr Dametto said.
“I look forward to hearing their stories at the hearings”.
To register to attend or speak at the public hearings, head to https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/LASC/inquiries/current-inquiries/YJandOLAB2021