Burnouts in Eggmolesse street.
Burnouts in Eggmolesse street.

Calls to put brakes on hooning in Bundaberg

HOONING is not a game, it is selfish and extremely dangerous, according to Member for Bundaberg David Batt.

Making an adjournment speech in Queensland parliament last night, Mr Batt said hooning was an increasing issue within the Bundaberg community with residents concerned a car would come crashing through their bedroom window in the middle of the night.

“We must put the brakes on hooning,” he said in parliament.

“It is a major issue within my community of Bundaberg and over recent months the problem has escalated dramatically, keeping countless residents awake at all hours of the night.

“With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions I have recommenced my mobile offices and over the last three weeks I have spoken to dozens of Bundy residents at Avoca, at the Shalom Sunday Markets, Centenary Park and Lions Memorial Park who have told me they are at their wit’s end with hooning taking over our streets.”

During his speech Mr Batt highlighted the fatal incident last week when a pedestrian, a visiting 63-year-old Sunshine Coast man, was hit by an alleged stolen vehicle, reportedly driving erratically and at high speed.

“This devastating, tragic and heartbreaking incident truly shows that speeding and dangerous driving kills,” he said.

“Unfortunately hooning is an increasing problem that cannot be eradicated quickly, but there are things we can do to help reduce it.

“As Bundy’s state MP I regularly meet with local police to discuss issues within our community and I know hooning is a major focus for them.”

He said while local officers want to increase patrols in hotspot areas but they cannot be everywhere at once.

“As a former police officer of 23 years, I know how helpful specific information is and that is why I always encourage residents to try to record vehicle registration details when they can,” he said.

“I know this can be very difficult, especially in the dark of night, but this information makes a world of difference.

“I also encourage residents to keep a record of any patterns of specific days and times of the week when hooning occurs in their area and share those details with police by calling 13 HOON or completing the online form.”

But in the long-term, Mr Batt said more needed to be done – starting with more CCTV cameras and tougher penalties.

“Earlier this month we announced our LNP plan to take back our streets,” he said.

“A future LNP government will invest in covert CCTV cameras which provide a direct feed to police stations and officer iPads across the state.

“We will fund the rollout of antiskid road treatments which literally shred the tyres of dangerous drivers but cause no damage to those driving appropriately.

“We will introduce a new offence that will apply to members of established hoon gangs, imposing an additional three-year driving ban on hoons whose cars are impounded, immobilised or confiscated, rising to five years for repeat offenders.

“I know how much hooning is impacting my community and as Bundy’s voice in this place I will continue doing all I can to help reduce it.”