Ingham Daily Press

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KAP Political Communication: Grog ban and lack of employment pathways drives youth crime in North Queensland

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, says youth crime is getting worse in North Queensland because there is a lack of employment opportunities for young people, and a ban on alcohol in the First Australian community areas has driven the ‘no-hoper mob’ to major towns like Mareeba, Mount Isa, Cairns and Townsville.

“Crime is getting worse because the First Australians and a lot of young white kids used to move onto the cattle stations and be proud stockman, or into the cane fields as cane cutters,” Mr Katter said. 

“Their back was straight, and their head held high. They walked with pride. But the saddle was taken out from underneath them and on the coast the cane knife was taken away. Suddenly there was no employment. 

“The crime situation has dramatically increased with the ban on alcohol in the communities. The no-hoper mob moved into Cairns, Mareeba, Mount Isa and Townsville.  

“It could only be a white fella in Brisbane who could be so stupid to ban alcohol. It’s racial. Paternalistic protection is blatant racial law. The government needs to take off and let these people manage their own lives.” 

The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP says his party has been tirelessly and continually advocating for relocation sentencing as the solution to youth crime.

Under the relocation sentencing proposal Magistrates would be given the option to send youth offenders to relocation facilities in remote areas like Kajabbi (north of Mount Isa) and Musgrave in Cape York.

“The youth will build their own housing at the relocation facilities. There won’t be security fencing and if they try to run away, they won’t get far, they’ll be in the middle of nowhere. Those kids will go up to the relocation centres and they will come back with fencing skills, block laying skills, fruit picking skills and there will be a pathway into permanent jobs when they return,” he said.

“Two years ago, bricklayers in Townsville were getting $54 an hour. So, they will be set up to live a prosperous life. The KAP know the answer is relocation sentencing. We’ve been preaching that morning, noon, and night. 

“The ALP’s current policy sees the kids go straight back onto the street to commit more crime. Finding these kids guilty in court is a waste of time because there’s no way to punish them.  

“The LNP want to send the kids to youth detention centre in Townsville. Well Townsville’s youth detention centre is full. The jails are full. And to expand them will come at an astronomical cost compared to relocation sentencing.”

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