Queensland Shadow Attorney General Lawrence Springborg
Bligh Re-Announces Youth Violence Taskforce
Victor P Taffa
The Bligh Labor Government has re-announced its 2006 youth violence taskforce today in a bid to grab another quick headline.
Queensland Shadow Attorney-General Lawrence Springborg said despite a 2007 report calling for reforms to school violence behaviour programs and community education on youth violence, the Premier was announcing “more talk and no action”.
“The Government has stated it implemented 15 of the 16 recommendations by mid 2009, but now the Premier is announcing it all over again.” Mr. Springborg said.
“The Bligh Government has no answer to youth violence …and the best the Premier can do is re-announce the 2006 taskforce to look into it, again.”
By contrast, Mr. Springborg said the LNP had put forward major youth crime initiatives, including a Private Member’s Bill – Juvenile Justice (Sentencing Principles) and Other Amendments to strengthen laws governing young offenders and provide additional safeguards and protections to the community, but Labor used its numbers to vote down the amendments last September.
Mr. Springborg said Labor’s reference to ‘detention as a last resort’ stopped courts from using sentencing as an effective deterrent and ensured courts failed to deliver sentences that met community expectations.
Mr. Springborg said an LNP government would remove ‘detention as a last resort’ to allow courts to consider detention as a sentencing option for serious juvenile offenders.
“The LNP would limit the number of Police cautions and conferences to three for repeat juvenile offenders and legislate to allow victims of juvenile crime to present Victim Impact Statements to court when juvenile offenders are sentenced; limit the number of times ‘take no further’ action could be used for young offenders; and extend the use of naming young offenders to include all serious offences.” Mr. Springborg said.