A war of words has erupted between two influential Queensland politicians as the state grapples with a youth crime crisis. Photo Nicholas Falconer / Sunshine Coast Daily
A war of words has erupted between two influential Queensland politicians as the state grapples with a youth crime crisis. Photo Nicholas Falconer / Sunshine Coast Daily

Pollies wage war on QLD’s youth crime crisis

A war of words has erupted between two Queensland political powerhouses over the controversial issue of youth crime in Queensland.

On Tuesday, Dale Last MP, Shadow Minister for Police and Corrective Services, fired his shot at Labor's supposed 'inability' to handle youth crime.

"We've already said that we won't stand in the way of this government implementing its plan to address youth crime," he said.

"But we are not going to stand by and allow repeat offenders to put the safety of Queenslanders at risk."

Mr Last called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to also clarify the government's position on boot camps.

Mr Last's said that in question time Tuesday, the Premier and Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard repeated their claim that boot camps did not work.

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"But the Labor Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt told Seven News earlier this month that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed by the government to reintroduce boot camps in an attempt to tackle youth crime," Mr Last.

Mr Last said that for years, Labor said boot camps did not work and yet that was exactly what they were doing.

"They are fast running out of ideas," he said.

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said the LNP was playing a very tired, old song when it comes to youth crime.

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"They have no real will for change and it shows in their lack of a plan to tackle the issue," Mr Butcher said.

"Curfews, boot camps and a failed breach of bail policy have all been rejected by Queenslanders.

"There is not now, nor has there ever been, an MOU between this government and another organisation to develop a boot camp on the Sunshine Coast.

"It's simply not true."

Mr Butcher said what Labor did have was a clear way forward to ensure Queenslanders were safe at home and at work.

"We recognise juvenile crime is a serious issue, which is why we're introducing a suite of initiatives to further strengthen the measures we already have in place," he said.

"These new initiatives include giving courts more powers which will allow them to:

1. Require Fitting of Electronic monitoring devices (GPS Trackers) as a condition of bail for recidivist high risk offenders aged 16 and 17

2. Create a Presumption Against Bail for youth offenders arrested for committing further serious indictable offences, like Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, while on bail

3. Seek assurances from parents and guardians that bail conditions will be complied with before an offender is released

4. Strengthen existing bail laws to provide further guidance to the courts - the Youth Justice Act will be amended to include a reference to the community being protected from recidivist youth offenders in the Charter of Youth Justice Principles."

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Mr Butcher said the government would enshrine in legislation the principle that offending while on bail was an aggravating circumstance when the court was imposing a sentence.

"To prevent crime:

1. Police will trial an enhanced ability to use metal detecting wands to target knife crime on the Gold Coast

2. Anti-hooning laws will be strengthened to hold the registered owner of a vehicle responsible except where the vehicle is stolen or the owner can identify another driver and

3. A parliamentary inquiry will examine the implementation of remote engine immobilisers."

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