The Palaszczuk Government’s crackdown on youth crime includes $2.25 million over three years to trial a new ‘On Country’ program in Mount Isa.
Minister for Youth Justice Di Farmer said the changes would also mean tougher action on bail and new funding for Mount Isa community-based crime action committee Community Connect.
“These changes target repeat offenders and make it crystal clear that community safety in Mount Isa comes first,” she said.
“We’ve announced a blitz on bail where we will appeal court decisions where appropriate and we will ensure that young people are held accountable for their actions.”
Minister Farmer said she received representations, petitions and proposals for On Country programs while in Mt Isa for the Premier’s Community Cabinet meeting in November last year.
“The Palaszczuk Government has listened closely to residents across North Queensland about what they believe is best for their communities and their young people,” she said.
“These changes are a direct result of discussions we have had with community leaders who want kids to be held accountable, to learn from their mistakes and contribute in a meaningful way to their communities.”
Mt Isa will receive $2.25 million over three years to trial an “On Country’ program, which will be co-designed and delivered by local indigenous community Elders, organisations and leaders.
“Courts and police will be able to refer teens here in Mount Isa to the program and it will mean time spent with Elders, learning about culture and how they can positively give back to their community,” she said.
“It will specifically target repeat offenders and those who lack supervision, are estranged from family and have stopped going to school.”
Ms Farmer said the initiatives would build on the work already being done by the Mount Isa Community Connect Project, the Young Offender Support Service and Mount Isa Transitional Hub, which operates 24/7.
The government will provide new funding of $200,000 for the Mount Isa Community Connect Project, which was established in April last year.
The project has enabled community members and local representatives from key government agencies to work together on community-based solutions to youth crime.
“Community Connect has partnered with local businesses and schools and made real progress in helping families to get their kids back on track,” she said.
“We’ve also had so much positive feedback about the work The Hub is doing to keep kids off the streets and reduce crime.”