December 12, 2018
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has challenged Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to come to Murgon and sit in on a juvenile justice conference.
The State Government’s Youth Justice Strategy, released on Tuesday, stated that 59 per cent of young people who completed a restorative justice conference did not reoffend within six months.
But Mrs Frecklington disputed the value of these conferences.
“I’ve been a child lawyer before, in a past life, and I’ve also sat through these conferences that the Premier has decided today are the be-all and end-all,” she said.
“Let’s take a school principal, for example, that has to sit in a youth conference with one of these little thugs.
“The kid doesn’t turn up, the principal’s out of school and a lot of people are wasting time, effort and resources trying to fix up a problem when the child isn’t interested in rehabilitation. ”
Mrs Frecklington accused Premier Palaszczuk of being “out of touch”.
“I invite the Premier out to Murgon and sit in a couple of these conferences, whether it’s by videolink or whether it’s by sitting in front of one of these youth offenders and see how effective that program really is,” she said.
The Opposition Leader said the reason why children were offending also had to be looked at.
“Let’s look at Cherbourg, one of the most disadvantaged communities in Queensland, and when I try to speak up about what that community needs, the Premier accuses me of playing politics,” she said.
Mrs Frecklington also called for better resourcing for police, the re-introduction of “breach of bail” as a criminal offence, and a solution to the over-crowding in the juvenile justice system by building another detention centre.
“It is very important that we send a clear message to these kids: ‘If you do the crime, you do the time’,” she said.
She said youth crime had “gone out of control” under the Labor Government and victims must be considered ahead of criminals.
“I want to see less people being ripped off by these kids going around flogging cars and breaking into people’s houses.”