Young Rockhampton and Yeppoon people in contact with the youth justice system now have better access to services to help them stay out of custody and watch houses thanks to new bail support services that commenced late last week.
Minister for Youth Di Farmer said local organisation Darumbal Community Youth Services had received $85,000 to boost its existing bail support services in Rockhampton and establish a new service in Yeppoon.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the new, flexible service was already helping to get young people back on the straight and narrow and making the community safer.
“Public spaces like shopping centres should be safe for everyone, and everyone should feel comfortable in that space.
“I’ve met a couple of times with Stockland Shopping Centre to talk through some ways we can support young people to reduce offending and anti-social behaviours.
“I took their concerns to Minister Farmer, and out of that I’ve secured some funding so Darumbal can base a service out of the shopping centre to directly respond to some of these concerns.
“We know that the most effective solutions are led by the community, and are tailored to the community – it’s not one size fits all.
“So I’m really glad to see this funding support a local organisation who is already doing some great work in Rockhampton.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga welcomed the funding, which is also supporting Darumbal to provide services in Yeppoon.
“Finding solutions to crime and making our community safer is a huge issue in our community, which we saw quite clearly with more than 100 people taking part in my recent community safety forum,” she said.
“Darumbal has been doing great work in Rockhampton, so I’m delighted that this funding has meant they can expand their services to Yeppoon to rapidly respond to demand on a needs basis.”
Mrs Lauga said the service was already paying off in its first week of operation.
“A Darumbal Community Youth Service worker attended Yeppoon Children’s Court on Thursday morning with a young person who had been held in custody,” she said.
“This young person’s parent hadn’t engaged in any of the coordination meetings that have been held for the past couple of weeks or attended court with their child for support previously.
“Darumbal supported both the young person and the parent to attend court and the young person was granted bail – and they’ll keep working with the young person to help them do what they need to do to live up to the conditions of their bail.
“When we can provide services that help families to engage with and support their kids, that’s a really positive outcome.”
Ms Farmer said this was a great example of bail support services working to engage with young people’s families to help them support their children.
“It can also include practical supports such as transport, connecting young people with education and access to stable accommodation,” she said.
Ms Farmer also praised Ms Lauga for convening the forum to discuss community safety issues.
“Community forums like the one Brittany just led are a great way for the community to take ownership and lead solutions to issues like youth crime, and I’m looking forward to discussing the lessons learned with Brittany.”
The new services complement two new positions at the Rockhampton Youth Justice Service Centre that specialise in intensive case management of young Rockhampton and Yeppoon people.
Ms Farmer said the bail support services were one part of the government’s overall $550 million investment in Youth Justice Reforms across the state since 17-year-olds were transitioned to the youth justice system.
“All young people deserve a bright future and that’s why we are determined to reduce the number of young people remanded in custody,” she said.
“By supporting young people to meet their bail conditions, we are working towards creating positive change so they can live their life free of crime.”
Ms Farmer said $17 million was being invested to deliver bail support services across the state.