Traeger MP Robbie Katter, Hill MP Shane Knuth and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

27 June 2023

 The tragic news of yet another senseless and brutal killing at the hands of a teenager has led to furious Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP’s declaring political warfare on the Palaszczuk Government.

Richard Matthews (“Dickie”) a 63-year-old Innisfail resident passed away as a result of the alleged injuries he sustained during a street attack by a 17-year-old in April.

The Palaszczuk Government introduced their new “tough on crime” measures in March this year but they’ve evidently had no impact on youth offending.  Five people have lost their lives to youth crime since the legislation was passed three months ago.

KAP Member for Hill, Shane Knuth wished to extend his sincere sympathies to Mr Matthews’ family for their loss.

“No words can possibly ease the grief for Mr Matthews’ family, but I want them to know that on behalf of the Hill electorate, they are all in our thoughts and prayers,” he said.

“I have spoken to a number of community members who knew Mr Matthews well and are saddened by this event. He will be dearly missed.

“KAP has never backed down from trying to push the Government to do better when it comes to youth crime.

“This will only fuel our fight as we continue to demand the Government fund a trial of KAP’s relocation sentencing policy for recidivist youth offenders, to make sure they are off the street and not ripping innocent families apart.

“Later this term KAP will also be introducing a Private Members Bill proposing that youth offenders be tried and sentenced as adults for particularly serious and life altering crimes such as offences that cause the death or grievous bodily harm of another person and also rape.

“Enough is enough, adult crime deserves adult time.”

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto said that he also extended his heartfelt sorrow to the Matthews’ family.

“At times like this, no words are going to ease the pain, but actions certainly could avoid families in the future having to go through this same experience,” Mr Dametto said.

“I couldn’t agree more with the statements by the family, Mr Matthews was completely let down by the Palaszczuk Government.

“No one want to hear fake apologies or excuses from the Premier or her Ministers about the complexities of youth crime. All everybody wants is some serious action with real consequences and real solutions.

“In March, the Premier boasted about Queensland’s new “tough on youth crime” measures but Premier, I’ve got news for you, the kids aren’t listening!

“After witnessing the State Government over three terms completely run out of ideas on how to solve this problem, whilst being constrained by their warped sense of ideology when it comes to dealing with youth offenders, it is safe to say the State has raised the white flag and surrendered to youth offenders.

“It appears the Government is preparing the community to accept this is as the new normal when it comes to youth offending in Queensland.

“KAP will not turn its back on Queensland when it comes to youth crime. We will continue to present solution based policies until this Government adopts them, or we see a change of Government.

“At KAP we are busily working on our own youth crime bill that reflects the community’s expectations. Adult time for adult crimes and mandatory sentencing will be two of the main focuses of the bill that seeks to send a strong message to would be offenders and forces courts to apply strong penalties that reflect the seriousness of the crime.


Nick Dametto MP