Letter to the Editor from Nick Dametto MP

Dec 29, 2022

Letter to the Editor from Nick Dametto MP

Dec 29, 2022

Following the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Brisbane on Boxing Day, let’s unpack what we know so far:  


Two 17 year old boys have been charged with murder and attempted murder along with break-in enter. 


One of the two boys charged with murdering Mrs Lovell was on bail for a matter involving a break-in and receiving stolen property when the Boxing Day tragedy unfolded. 


One of the 17-year-olds boys allegedly entered the Lovells’ home with a knife in his hand at around 11.30pm on the 26th of December. 


Following the incident, it will be alleged four teens were located at a home, understood to be a government-funded “resi-care” home. 


Police took the four juveniles, who appeared to be affected by alcohol, into custody before releasing two of the youth after questioning. 


In the days leading up to the tragedy, one of the alleged killers posted videos of himself and others driving at 190km/h in allegedly stolen luxury cars just days before the mother of two was killed. 


Social-media posts by one of the juveniles show the youth posing in front of a number of cars, which included an Audi and Porsche, holding up cash, covering his face, and making gang hand signs. 


Now, taking all this into account, I ask if this pattern of offending was committed by adult offenders would these criminals be out on our streets?  


The answer is no, but the question remains: why not?  


It’s quite simple, the Youth Justice Act is written in such a way that it’s designed to deviate as many children away from the court system.  


Secondly once a child finally makes it in front of a Magistrate, he or she must cite the guiding principle of sentencing which states a child should be detained in custody (whether on arrest or sentence) only: 

  • as a last resort 
  • in a facility suitable for children, and 
  • for the least time that is justified. 


Simply put, this is why so many youth offenders are out on our streets causing untold damage to property and lives. 


The State Labor Government has failed us, their weak as piss “tough new bail laws” are a joke and the LNP’s suggestion of reinstating breach of bail as an offence is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. 


Yes, the laws need to be changed but anything short of a complete overhaul should be considered  spin that is a slap in the face of every single victim of crime across this state. 


Children who commit adult crimes must be tried and sentenced as adults: do the crime do the time. 


Detention as a last resort must be removed from the Youth Justice Act and power must be given back to parents and carers to control children. 


A complete overhaul of the “resi-care” arrangement is needed; these caregivers have no legislative tools to control the children in their care, and the evidence is blinding. 


Relocation Sentencing must be trialled, magistrates need a third (and more effective) option for sentencing.  


Currently, our youth detention facilities are a holiday camp. Detention in a harsh remote location where inmates are sent to serve six-12 months would act as a strong deterrent to young recidivist youth offenders who have not been reformed by the current methods available. 


We must approach this problem before another life is lost to a senseless act of violence. 


Queenslanders deserve law and order to be restored.