Understaffed detention centre a recipe for riots

Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto fears a riot may break out at Cleveland Youth Detention Centre as staff are called away to assist their counterparts in Brisbane.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto fears a riot could break out amongst juveniles at Townsville’s Cleveland Youth Detention Centre with staff being called away to assist their counterparts in Brisbane.

Mr Dametto said he was “alarmed” at reports today that 15 staff at Cleveland Youth Detention Centre had been called away to help at Wacol’s Brisbane Youth Detention Centre after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases which had so far affected five staff and five of their relatives. The Townsville staff will not be replaced and will be away for at least two weeks.

“This is an incredibly dangerous situation. It won’t take long for the inmates to realise there are less eyes watching them. There’s every chance we could see another riot break out there,” he said.

“On top of that, we still don’t know if any inmates from the COVID-impacted detention centre in Brisbane have been moved up to Townsville, which the Premier previously stated could be an option. A potential riot or outbreak of COVID-19 in North Queensland is just a recipe for disaster.”

Mr Dametto said Katter’s Australian Party’s relocation sentencing policy, which would send hardcore recidivist offenders to a remote property at Lake Julius west of Mt Isa, would be “as far away from COVID-19 as possible”.

“Staff and inmates would be safe from possible COVID infection. The site’s remoteness means escape won’t really be an option as there’s nowhere to go,” he said.

“We’ll have offenders as young as 10 doing six to 12 months of hard labour, building discipline and learning valuable life skills. There will be no creature comforts. We’re talking about hard yakka day in, day out.

“Katter’s Australian Party has a real solution when it comes to tackling the North’s youth crime crisis. Labor and the LNP just sit on their hands and give lip service.”

Nick Dametto MP