Katter calls pollies to live in crime crisis area

 

TOWNSVILLE'S escalating crime crisis has ignited calls for two state ministers to spend at least two weeks in North Queensland, living and breathing the region's issues.

Katter's Australian Party leader Robbie Katter believes Police Minister Mark Ryan and Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard should set up camp for a fortnight after the Regional Cabinet in Townsville later this month.

Mr Katter wants the ministers to witness the crisis first hand to fully understand how the government should respond to it.

"The Palaszczuk government has a duty of care to protect the North Queensland community and it is woefully failing to do so," Mr Katter said.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the Christmas period crime spree only reinforced that offenders do not fear consequences.

"Many people say incarceration doesn't work, but what doesn't work is law-abiding citizens being harassed and terrorised day in, day out by scum who are contributing nothing positive to society," Mr Dametto said.

The state government ministers saidthey were committed to tackling the region's crime issues.

Mr Ryan visited Townsville 12 times in the 12 months to the end of 2020, promising more police in the region and sinking $30m into a new police station at Kirwan.

Leanne Linard MP, Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Leanne Linard MP, Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Photographer: Liam Kidston

Ms Linard, who visited Townsville shortly after the election and after she was named Youth Justice minister, said the state government was committed to rolling out its five-point plan, which includes the On Country program and changes to bail laws to make it more difficult for repeat offenders to be let out.

However, the Bulletin has previously reported the On Country program has not become everything that was promised with no young offenders finishing the program yet.

"Every member of every community has a right to be safe and feel safe," Ms Linard said. "The generational change that's needed won't be achieved overnight or in two weeks - it will take time, which is why we will continue to roll out the five-point action plan and continue to work with local MPs to look at other ways to combat youth crime.

"There is more work to do and we're not afraid to do it."

Originally published as Stay for a bit to 'witness' crime



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