Rocky candidates explain plans to tackle crime problem

EVERY election The Morning Bulletin provides candidates the opportunity to inform Rockhampton region voters how they would address some of the region’s key issues.

From improvements on road safety and healthcare, to how they each plan to tackle the staggering crime rate, learn more about your local candidates’ take on five pressing issues across this final week of the Queensland Election campaign.

This was today’s question:

“Please explain your plans to address Rockhampton’s crime problem and whether you had any ideas regarding modifications to the judicial system.”

Mick Jones – The Greens candidate for Rockhampton

Greens Party candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones
Greens Party candidate for Rockhampton Mick Jones

“Spare me the ‘tough’ politicians who go after 10-year-old kids for shoplifting, while we have massive criminal activity admitted by the banking industry, and rampant corruption in politics.

These parties talking ‘tough on crime’ all take huge donations from big business.

They wreck the economy by failing to provide for everyday people, and they need scapegoats for the mess they’ve made.

The kids that get left behind in our broken system fit the bill perfectly. They’re easy targets, perfect for political bullies.

I’ve had enough of the gutless politicians who play ‘tough’ by punching down on the most vulnerable children in our community, and then grovel to the big players, no matter how dodgy they are.

We know these policies don’t work. They only make people less safe.

There are horror stories coming out of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where similar policies have wreaked havoc.

I won’t endorse institutionalised child abuse, and neither will The Greens.

Instead, we’ll fight back against corruption, and make super-rich billionaire banking, mining, and property tycoons pay their fair share.

Only the Greens have the guts to get tough on the big players.

We’ll take that revenue, and rebuild the economy here in CQ, where people are doing it tough. We’ll heal our communities instead of tearing them further apart.

We’ll help families doing it tough with free clinics, public housing, breakfast and lunch for kids coming to school hungry, and more.

We’ll give kids a real outlet with free sports memberships to all under-18s, and grants for clubs to expand.

And we’ll keep our promises, because we don’t take corporate cash like other political parties.”

Barry O’Rourke – Labor’s candidate for Rockhampton

Labor's incumbent candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke
Labor's incumbent candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke

“One crime is one crime too many and the Palaszczuk Labor Government has a proven track record of recruiting more police, giving them the resources they need to do their jobs, and introducing tough laws so offenders face consequences for their actions.

The Palaszczuk Government’s recent historic investment in community safety will deliver an extra 2,025 police personnel across Queensland.

This is one those game-changing moments where real change can be affected by good government policy.

This is the biggest investment in police in more than three decades and Rocky will get extra police and resources.

That will mean at lest an extra 150 police personnel who will be deployed to the region Rockhampton is a part of.

That’s at least an extra 150 police to keep our community safe.

The Rockhampton area will also get at least one new mobile police beat to crackdown on crime.

As the Police Minister said when he visited Rocky recently – these new police initiatives will help in two ways: it’s an investment in community safety, and it’s a job creator as Queensland recovers from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

In other words, the recruitment of so many extra police will not only be a big boost in the fight against crime, it will also be a huge bonus to our local economy.

Compare that to the record of the previous LNP government which sacked hundreds of police. We can’t afford to go back to those bad old days when Deb Frecklington was the Assistant Minister to Campbell Newman – it’s just not worth the risk.”

Yvette Saxon – Informed Medical Options Party candidate for Rockhampton

Did not respond by deadline.

Christian Shepherd – Katter’s Australian Party candidate for Rockhampton

KAP candidate for Rockhampton Christian Shepherd
KAP candidate for Rockhampton Christian Shepherd

“It is vitally important that as a government, we foster a society in which a life of crime is the least attractive way to live one’s life.

This can be done by ensuring that citizens are given adequate opportunities to legitimately succeed.

At the moment, very little is being done in our region to encourage economic activity. Generational unemployment leads to generational criminals. A life of gainful employment provides structure, discipline, a sense of self-worth and a sense of respect for the hard work that someone else has put into their private property.

We’re fortunate in Rockhampton that we haven’t yet seen how bad it can get under Labor.

I don’t want to let it get to the point where we find out.

Only Katter’s Australian Party has a plan to stimulate the Rockhampton economy and ensure long-term economic growth that will give working class, blue collar and the chronically unemployed a future full of opportunity.

I’ve been down to the riverbank to talk to the Indigenous people who hang out there drinking most days. The ones everyone says to stay away from. That everyone says are no good.

I’ve spoken to them and I’ve listened. They want jobs. They want homes. They want to run businesses.

But it’s clear that we are failing as a society to provide adequate opportunities despite the untold millions that we throw against the wall with feel-good initiatives and ineffectual organisations.

A simple change we could make would be to make all assaults “zero tolerance” – not just assaults on healthcare workers.

Does a common citizen deserve a lesser level of protection because they’re not a paramedic? Absolutely not. All assaults are an attack on an individual’s inalienable right to personal safety.

This includes schoolyard and sports field punch-ups which are often dismissed simply because they’re not on the street or in the home.

We must also shift our legal system and lawmakers away from a focus on victimless crimes.

It is absurd that we waste vital resources within our legal system on ‘crimes’ that have no victim, beyond offending the alleged virtues of a government bureaucrat or a member of parliament feigning moral purity.

Very often a law simply fails to properly reflect the values of Australian society, and thus it is breached on such a habitual basis that it perpetually absorbs the resources of police and magistrates with no perceptible gain or improvement to society at large. A truly futile exercise.”

Torin O’Brien – One Nation’s candidate for Rockhampton

One Nation candidate for Rockhampton Torin O'Brien
One Nation candidate for Rockhampton Torin O'Brien

“Crime is clearly spiralling and if elected I will immediately boost youth leadership programs. This would involve propping up existing youth justice programs to see them year round as well as creating new, extra services locally.

We must adopt the Amayda leadership and empowerment program in our schools to begin the process of creating a better, kinder society.

One Nation’s law and order plus youth justice policies are the key to success when it comes to combating Labor’s crime mess.

I will stand true to my word in sticking to each and every point of those policies.”

Craig Crangle – United Australia Party’s candidate for Rockhampton

Did not respond by deadline.

Laura Barnard – Legalise Cannabis Queensland’s candidate for Rockhampton

Laura Barnard is the Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party's candidate for Rockhampton.
Laura Barnard is the Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party's candidate for Rockhampton.

“There must be changes to our judicial system in regards to violent offenders.

I have been speaking with the parents of a young man who was taken too soon by repeat violent offenders, out on bail at the time, and have been working on a parliamentary petition so as their concerns are addressed regardless of the election.

They have been left in the dark during the most unimaginable court proceedings, not entitled to any information or police briefings.

In the past four years our armed robbery offences have increased in the Capricorn region by 132 per cent, unlawful use of motor vehicle increased by 107 per cent; the animalistic approach of “catch and release” is not working.

I’ve heard “it starts at home” so much, but think we are missing the gravity of this statement. We must address the underlying matters for those offending, adults and young people.

Implementing extra-curricular activities to give our young people especially, positions to take positive action within their lives.

Supporting young people to find their passion, uncovering skills applicable to what interests them and encouraging them to reach their goals saves young lives.

Having a realistic approach to decreasing crime must involve acknowledging the benefits of legalising cannabis.

We can expect a decrease in crime following legalisation. This is reflected in numerous countries that have legalised, I’ve seen it first hand having travelled a few of these countries and spoken with many locals; I’d say that’s a fantastic start.

This would free up police resources for a better response to unrelated crimes. Better use of police time means more investment in reducing issues prevalent in our society, such as assault and robbery.

Regardless of the election, I will be continuing to work closely with dedicated services to introduce further programs in place for at risk, and incarcerated persons, so as to better their interactions within the community.”

Dominic Doblo – Independent candidate for Rockhampton

Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo is running as an independent candidate in the electorate of Rockhampton for the 2020 State Election.
Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo is running as an independent candidate in the electorate of Rockhampton for the 2020 State Election.

“When we control drugs and we provide jobs, we will control crime.

The egg comes before the chicken. Bandaids eventually fail.”

Tony Hopkins – LNP candidate for Rockhampton

LNP candidate for Rockhampton Tony Hopkins
LNP candidate for Rockhampton Tony Hopkins

“Everyone in Rockhampton and Gracemere has right to feel safe in their home and out on the streets.

For five years under Labor’s soft on crime policies, we have seen story after story of violent crimes, house break ins and car stealing.

Robbery in Capricornia has increased by 88 per cent since Labor came to office in 2015, while unlawful use of a motor vehicle is up a staggering 107 per cent.

Enough is enough.

Under the LNP – if you do the crime, you’ll do the time. There will be no more slaps on the wrist.

We are constantly hearing from police about their frustration in catching the same offenders time and time again.

Under the LNP, Police will finally have the backing to get repeat offenders off the streets and in detention where they belong.

The LNP is all about preventing crime, cracking down on offenders with new laws and tougher penalties, and rehabilitating repeat offenders to break the cycle and slam the revolving door closed.

I note with interest that, if elected, the LNP will introduce emergency legislation to impose curfews on young teens in Townsville and Cairns.

At this stage it only applies to Townsville and Cairns, but I will closely monitoring its effectiveness for possible implementation here

We will also introduce a Community Payback Farm program to rehabilitate repeat offenders.

I believe this to be a very important initiative.

If done right it can teach offenders real life working skills, lift self-esteem and break the crime cycle.”

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