Youth crime committee dissolved after political tension

A committee tasked with finding solutions to youth crime in Queensland has been disbanded.

A committee tasked with finding solutions to youth crime in Queensland has been disbanded. Photo: AAP

A parliamentary committee tasked with tackling Queensland’s youth crime problem has been dissolved after bipartisan support disintegrated.

The Youth Justice Reform Select Committee was established in October last year to investigate possible reforms to battle rising youth crime and support options for victims.

But on Wednesday night, the state government moved a motion to disband the committee after tensions flared over a delayed interim report which would present recommendations.

Leader of the House and Energy Minister Mick de Brenni labelled it disappointing that politics had been played during what was intended to be an independent and bipartisan effort to deliver crime solutions.

“It is disappointing but it is not surprising,” he told parliament on Wednesday.

“This motion is a serious motion, but so is the subject matter that this committee has been charged to look into.”

The interim report was intended to update Queenslanders on the progress of the committee on potential reforms to stem growing youth crime.

de Brenni claimed the LNP members had not treated the crime issue or committee seriously, digging their heels in to prevent the report being released.

“It is now crystal clear that the LNP opposition have no intention other than to play politics,” he said.

“They are actively, through their actions, delaying reform that could offer justice to Queenslanders.”

But the LNP members of the committee argued they were not given enough time to consider the report and its recommendations.

“The government has shut down a committee because they were worried about what it might uncover if it continued,” Laura Gerber, Dan Purdie and Jim McDonald said in a joint statement.

“The LNP approached this committee with political goodwill because victims of crime deserved change.”

Given more time and opportunity, the LNP said it would have delivered solutions within the committee.

Chair of the committee, Independent MP Sandy Bolton, said it was deeply saddening that a report would not be tabled that could have benefited Queenslanders.

“That we have not delivered a bipartisan agreement so far, as needed by Queenslanders, has been personally and otherwise deeply disappointing,” she said while supporting the motion.

“I will say again how very sad I am.”

The motion passed with 49 votes from Labor MPs in favour to 30 in opposition from the LNP.


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