The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s promised “tough” crackdown on youth crime has been exposed as a political stunt, after it was revealed not one juvenile offender has received the new maximum penalty for car theft, despite a major rise in the number of stolen cars across Queensland.
Labor’s so-called “tough” laws were part of a “10-point plan” announced by the Premier late last year.
The stunning revelation that not one juvenile offender has received the “tough” maximum sentence as promised has intensified calls for the Palaszczuk Government to listen to Queenslanders and adopt the LNP’s plan to remove detention as a last resort from the Youth Justice Act.
The legislative failure was exposed in a new Parliamentary Question on Notice.
It comes as damning new analysis of Queensland Police Service statistics uncovered a rise in car thefts in Brisbane North, Brisbane South, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville over a 12 month period.
Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said the Labor Government sees the youth crime crisis as a political issue and not a real problem facing thousands of Queenslanders.
“This was a cobbled together announcement that was big on political preservation but small on the protection of people," Mr Crisafulli said.
“The State Government must admit this stunt has failed and adopt the LNP’s policy of removing detention as a last resort to ensure hardcore repeat offenders are dealt with.”
Shadow Police Minister Dale Last said Queenslanders have lost trust in the Premier.
“This was Labor’s signature policy in their latest 10-point plan to combat youth crime in December 2022, but nearly a year later not one young offender has received the maximum penalty,” Mr Last said.
“This is an insult to the Queenslanders who’ve been terrorised in their home at night and had their car stolen.
“Labor talks tough but their follow-through is hopeless and Queenslanders are sick of the fake promises.
“Soft laws, 204 fewer police and a tired third term Labor Government, is it any wonder Queensland is in the middle of a crime crisis?”