Telstra called in to clarify GPS tracker network issues

6 September 2021

Member for Hinchinbrook, Nick Dametto.

MEMBER for Hinchinbrook has demanded answers from Minister for Police and Emergency Services regarding reports that, to date, not a single eligible recidivist youth offender in Townsville has been fitted with an Electronic Monitoring Device (EMD).

On May 17, the Queensland Government passed amendments purportedly aimed at strengthening youth bail laws in the State, including a 12-month Electronic Monitoring Device (EMD) trial for 16 and 17-year-olds in Townsville, North Brisbane, Moreton, Logan, and the Gold Coast.

Mr Dametto said he found it hard to believe that the reason for not fitting the EMD, or GPS tracker, has been put down to 4G connectivity issues in the region.

“If pig hunters can put a GPS tracking device on their hunting dogs and find it again in the middle of nowhere, why are these EMDs having connectivity issues?” he questioned.

“In my opinion, the roll out of this trial has been a farce – four months down the track and nothing has been down to target these hardcore recidivist offenders.

“This program was introduced to provide an extra layer of security and increase safety for the community and not a single one has been fitted.”

Mr Dametto has contacted Telstra in reference to the apparent network-related issue that is impacting the roll out of the EMDs.

Mr Dametto said the policy failure was of great concern to the Hinchinbrook electorate, as well as the North Queensland community more broadly who have been suffering under years of relentless, and worsening, youth crime.

“I am seeking an urgent update from Telstra regarding what network issues currently exist around the use of GPS trackers in Queensland,” he said.

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) have been calling on the State Government to trial the KAP Relocation Sentencing Policy. The policy has been designed to be the ultimate ‘circuit breaker’ for repeat young offenders who are likely to re-offend and wide-ranging community support.

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Nick Dametto MP