Threat unfair to city youth

By DARRYN NUFER

IT was unfair to punish the welfare organisation leasing the home at the centre of last week's siege in North Rockhampton, its boss said yesterday.

Capricorn Youth Accommodation Service president Ben Kele was responding to a call from Rockhampton City Councillor Stephen Schwarten to shut down the program being run at 67 Knight Street, Park Avenue, and two adjoining homes.

The service provides medium and short-term accommodation for needy youths.

At Monday night's council meeting Cr Schwarten called for an immediate report into the activities at the council-owned properties, which will ultimately determine their fate.

Yesterday Mr Kele defended his organisation, saying that while the drama was undesirable, it could not have pre-empted or prevented the incident, nor was it to blame.

He said the mother of the 30-yearold man charged over the siege at 67 Knight Street, had been living there to oversee the organisation's illicit substance rehabilitation program operating at homes either side.

"They (council) always knew there was going to be a supervisor in the middle home and that was something they were happy about,'' Mr Kele said.

"It's unfortunate her son came running to mum when things got bad but I really don't see how we could have prevented that.

"If the council was as psychic as they want us to be then maybe they would have better control over one of their employees,'' Mr Kele said about the accused.



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