Taxpayer money wasted as Labor scraps bail houses

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has called on the recently re-elected State government to drastically change their policy position on youth crime to restore law and order on the streets.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has accused the State Labor Government of being out of touch in dealing with North Queensland’s youth crime crisis after its decision to scrap their failing bail houses.

Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard yesterday announced the government would scrap Queensland’s four Supervised Community Accommodation facilities (bail houses) at the end of January following a scathing evaluation from Ernst and Young that found they were under-utilised and did little to curb reoffending. Two of those bail houses are located in Townsville.

The scrapping of bail houses follows Mr Dametto’s call to do so back in July, after it was revealed the government had slugged taxpayers $88,000 to commission a third review into the failed program.

“As I said then, the third review conducted by Ernst and Young was pointless when the previous reports found the majority of offenders reoffended after leaving the bail house,” he said.

“The latest report says the same thing – almost 85 per cent reoffended after leaving the bail house.

“Labor seems totally paralysed on this issue. They fear the do-gooders who want them to look the other way and treat these kids as victims of the system, when in reality, they are doing nothing but ruining innocent people’s lives.

“The government has a responsibility to keep North Queenslanders safe from this crime scourge and Labor are failing abysmally.”

Mr Dametto said the government needed to “swallow their pride” and open up the conversation around adopting Katter’s Australian Party’s relocation sentencing policy that will curb youth crime.

Under the KAP’s policy, magistrates would have a third option to punish serial juvenile offenders by sending them to an approved remote property at Lake Julius, west of Mt Isa.

Offenders will find themselves on a one-way bus for six to 12 month stints of hard labour living in donga-style accommodation. The site’s remoteness will become a part of the security, as would GPS bracelets that would be issued to offenders to track down any would-be escapees.

“We’ve just had another disgusting incident where a group of children in Townsville were filmed driving in a stolen vehicle yelling out racial slurs at innocent bystanders. This is what people have to confront on a daily basis now,” Mr Dametto said.

“After five years, Labor’s policies that deal with young offenders have done very little to curb daily crime sprees across the North.

“I’m calling on the recently re-elected State government to now consider drastically changing their policy position if we are to have any hope of restoring law and order on our streets.”

Nick Dametto MP