The Palaszczuk Government has announced a $1 million, three-year pilot program in Cairns to reduce offending by encouraging at-risk young people to take up sport and active recreation.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy welcomed the Space and Place Activities for Youth in Cairns (SPAYC) initiative which was aimed at young people living in high-density areas.
“Our community here in Cairns have been campaigning for better access to sport and active recreation facilities for our young children to steer them away from illegal activity.
“I’m pleased to see the launch of SPAYC program which will work with at-risk eight to 12-year old children to participate in after-school physical activity programs like rugby, football, cricket and Zumba.”
“Crime prevention is not the sole objective of participating in sport or active recreation – but it can be a positive by-product,” Mr Healy said.
“I am committed to working with our community to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour through physical activity. This has been an ongoing issue in Cairns and this is a Cairns solution to this.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering on it’s commitment to keeping communities safer.
“SPAYC is one of a number of ways that the Palaszczuk is working with the Queensland Police Service and Cairns Safer Streets programs to reduce offending,” he said.
“Across the next three years, we are going to activate spaces and places in targeted areas of Cairns to increase activity levels and keep the community safer.
Mr de Brenni said a successful eight-week Cairns Safer Streets trial ran earlier this year from July to September.
“The Palaszczuk Government is changing people’s life-story in the early chapters, and not waiting until an unhappy ending.
“The earlier we make these targeted interventions across government agencies, the better.
SPAYC will work with local providers to encourage families to take part in activities together with the aim of maintaining participation and connecting communities.
“We want all Queenslanders to reach their active potential, regardless of gender, location or financial circumstances.
The SPAYC program is scheduled to begin in 2019.
It is supported by the Queensland Police Service, the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.