Govt: ‘We need to do more’ about CQ town's youth crime

Woorabinda residents are at a loss over how to deal with the ongoing youth crime ravaging their town.
Woorabinda residents are at a loss over how to deal with the ongoing youth crime ravaging their town. Larisa Lofitskaya

4.30PM: Minister for child safety Shannon Fentiman told The Morning Bulletin the government was aware more support was needed in Woorabinda.   

"The Woorabinda community needs support and it is heartbreaking to think any child might commit a crime because they needed food," she said.   

"We know we need to do more to support this community.   

"The Palaszczuk Government has made a great start with a new ATISI Family Wellbeing Service commenced this month, supporting the Rockhampton region including Woorabinda, at a cost of $1.6 million annually.   

"The service, provided by Central Queensland Indigenous Development, has employed two locally-based wellbeing officers, a practitioner, a senior practitioner and a community manager for Woorabinda.   

"The Palaszczuk Government continues to fund youth and family support services, including Darumbal Community Youth Service, which just had its annual $700,000 funding renewed for another year."  

The Morning Bulletin was told a media statement Wednesday would detail the outcome of the meeting. 

12.30PM: WOORABINDA residents will meet for a community forum today, after more concerns were raised about youth crime in the town.

Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council mayor Shane Wilkie said the meeting was being convened by a community committee and would give residents a chance to discuss issues and potential solutions.

He said the community felt "powerless" with the justice system continuing to return repeat juvenile offenders without addressing the causes of that behaviour in the home, through services like child protection.

Woorabinda CQUniversity

Cr Wilkie said the town had tried street patrols, but issues had persisted.

He said of most concern was the fact the youths involved were not always breaking into homes in acts of delinquency, but were also in search of food.

Cr Wilkie said part of the issue was not with the youths involved, but their parents who were not asking where their children were or making sure they were cared for.

In August, residents aired their frustrations with daily break-ins on social media, while a former resident whose car was vandalised told The Morning Bulletin there was a "crisis" in the town.

The Morning Bulletin has contacted the Department of Communities and Child Safety Services for comment.

Topics:  crime woorabinda woorabinda aboriginal shire council

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