LNP claims Labor soft on youth crime
BUNDABERG'S huge youth unemployment rate makes the region fertile ground for the ice epidemic, deputy LNP leader Tim Mander said today.
Mr Mander was in town with newly elected Bundaberg MP David Batt and Burnett MP Stephen Bennett calling for a bipartisan approach to tackling the ice scourge and spiralling crime rate in Wide Bay.
"Car thefts, assaults and robberies have increased by 20 per cent in Wide Bay,” Mr Mander said.
He blamed the high crime rate on the high youth unemployment rate, ice and Labor's "soft approach” to crime.
As part of the plan to tackle the problem, the
LNP wants to build a rehabilitation centre in Bundaberg, introduce harsher penalties and educate young people.
It is calling on the Palaszczuk Labor State Government to come to the party.
"Ice does not discriminate, it decimates,” Mr Mander said in front of the Bundaberg Court House.
"The unemployment rate in Wide Bay is 26 per cent meaning it is fertile ground for crime and ice.
"Twenty six per cent is double the state average.”
Mr Mander said he was constantly hearing in regional towns Labor was soft on youth crime.
He said the classic example was changes to bail conditions for youth offenders.
"When the LNP was in government we made the breach of bail for youth offenders an offence,” he said.
The Palaszczuk Government has reversed that reform.
"That means a young offender can be picked up for an alleged crime, be released on bail and then
the very next day commit the same offence and
have no penalty attached to that.
"We think it is no coincidence that youth crime has sky rocketed since that reform was reversed.”
Mr Mander also said he believed regular youth offenders should be named and shamed.
"And we also think that jail, as the last resort, should be removed,” he said.
He said law abiding citizens should be looked after before criminals in Queensland.