Street University: Right Intentions, Wrong Street

L to R: KAP Candidate Michael Pugh, KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto and local business owner Anthony Pagan.

26 June 2024

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Nick Dametto is standing up for local businesses owners in Kirwan, who have raised significant concerns regarding the rise in crime following the opening of the Street University on Castlemaine Street.

Long-established businesses, some operating for up to 35 years, are now facing serious challenges to keep their staff, clientele and businesses safe due to an escalation in dangerous crime over the past few months.

Mr Dametto said dealing with crime had become a daily occurrence and was causing significant stress to all business owners.

“Businesses have reported seeing large street brawls with weapons, they’ve received threats of violence towards themselves and customers, rocks have been thrown at cars and properties have been significantly damaged,” Mr Dametto said.

“The Street University was entirely state-funded and did not require council approval for its location or consultation with nearby residents or businesses. If that had occurred, they would have known clearly that the location was not suitable.

“The impact is far reaching with close to 50 businesses, with hundreds of staff and thousands of clients and patrons every day being affected. This is no small matter.

“Businesses are reporting that the escalating violence and intimidation by these youths are becoming more brazen daily, raising serious concerns that someone may be seriously injured or killed.

“While the Street University might be a positive solution on paper to address out of control youth crime, it has not been executed or overseen appropriately. At 10pm at night when the Street University closes these kids are being left on the street to their own devices and are not even escorted home. Where’s the duty of care to the kids and those living or working nearby?

“When I initially wrote to the Youth Justice Minister her response stated that the Queensland Police would increase their presence in the area through patrols and greater police surveillance as well as better lighting and security cameras. These latest measures have done nothing to reduce the offending behaviour.

“I am seeking a response to our latest letter written to the Minister which was accompanied by an open letter from nearby businesses that included 74 supporting signatures. This was hand delivered to the Minister during the last sitting week of parliament in early June.

“On behalf of businesses in this area I am here to deliver a strong message to the Youth Justice Minister – either shut it down or move it completely.”


Nick Dametto MP