Time’s Ticking on Intensive On Country Program

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader Nick Dametto.

21 May 2024

Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto used parliamentary Question Time today to corner the Queensland Premier for an update on the Expression of Interest (EOI) process for Labor’s Intensive On Country Program.

The Queensland State Labor Government has come under heavy criticism this week for their continued failure to address the rampant youth crime across the State. Despite the EOI process for the Intensive On Country Program closing in March this year, the community is still waiting on an update.

“North Queenslanders are living in hell while Labor writes a hall pass for a youth ‘Gangster Paradise,” Mr Dametto said.

“Victims across the state were cautiously optimistic when the Premier travelled to Townsville earlier this year to announce the Government’s intention to implement a new Intensive On Country Program, mainly because it strongly resembled KAP’s policy to send youth offenders out bush.

“We were shocked to hear the Labor Government using language such as ‘residential’, ‘longer periods’, ‘life skills’ and ‘mental and physical health’. However, it will not be forgiven if this policy announcement was just being used as an opportunity to buy this government time and credibility.

“Today I asked the Premier to update the House on the outcome of the EOI process.[1] The response was lacklustre to say the least with the Premier stating it was “still being worked through.”

“Time is ticking, and the Premier has limited opportunities left to turn the tide on crime before the election, with many saying the current has all but swept away all chances of this government reeling in any integrity on the State’s number one issue before voters cast judgment in October.

“If I was running this State, I’d be firming up a plan and implementing it yesterday. No Minister should be enjoying a good night’s sleep while the home invasion and carjackings continue.

“KAP will be taking our Relocation Sentencing policy and our whole suite of youth crime measures including Castle Law to the State Election in October. The message has been heard loud and clear, tough laws, mandatory sentencing and harsh penalties through incarceration is what Queenslanders want from this State’s law makers.”


[1] Nick Dametto’s Question Without Notice: Queenslanders cautiously welcomed the Premier’s announcement of an Intensive On Country trial because of KAP’s policy to send youth offenders bush — Will the Premier update the House on the outcome of that EOI process, or was this announcement just a ploy to buy the Miles Government time and credibility?

Nick Dametto MP