Tough love on the cards as KAP pushes relocation sentencing

Apr 21, 2023

The announcement of almost $500,000 in funding this week to be delivered to two programs aimed at targeting youth offending in Townsville and Mount Isa is another band aid on the State’s crime crisis wound, said Katter’s Australian Party leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter.

The programs are aimed to provide culturally responsive support to disengaged youth, and have been labelled as another “feel good” method unlikely to bring about real change.

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter acknowledged the funding provided to his home of Mount Isa, saying he was glad Mount Isa was included however he was still frustrated that the State Government still hadn’t delivered any bold solutions to the crime issue despite its crisis proportions.

Mr Katter this week moved a motion in Parliament, to endorse the party’s Relocation Sentencing model.

“Last night I led the motion to introduce Relocation Sentencing”, Mr Katter said.

“This would be an alternative to traditional and existing juvenile detention.

“It would see recidivist youth offenders ordered by courts to serve long-term sentences in highly rehabilitative environments in remote locations.

“We at the KAP would also like to see minimum sentences introduced.

“We want real offenders to be dealt with real repercussions for their heinous acts.”

Mr Katter advised that this was the first time in this Parliamentary term an alternative solution to control youth crime had been tabled for debate.

He said he was disappointed that, despite this opportunity, the Labor Government and LNP Opposition both provided only one MP to speak on the topic.

“What an insult to people across Queensland crying out for meaningful change in youth sentencing,” Mr Katter said.

Both the LNP and Labor parties voted down the KAPs’ motion despite the heavy support it has received from community groups and leaders.

Most (95%) councillors at the State LGAQ conference in 2022 voted for a policy change of this type.

“It is very concerning that the LNP, who continue to claim that they represent regional and rural communities have shown a complete disregard for this practical solution”, said Mr Katter.

“And, once again Labor has shown their true colours, offering no regard for the wellbeing of Queenslanders, and continuing to turn a blind eye to the issue.”

Mr Katter advised that despite the extremely disappointing decisions last night surrounding the policy, that the fight would not end there.

“Delivering real consequences is a massive part of the KAP’s push”, said Mr Katter.

“On top of that however, the KAP’s Relocation Sentencing Policy would deliver an avenue for these troubled youth to turn their lives around.

“They will be given the chance to be given some direction, to learn real life skills, and to hopefully become respectable, active members of society.

“Quite frankly the Stage Government does not have enough money to continue to roll-out weak-willed programs that tinker around the edges of the big issues at play.”

“They need some tough love.”