The NewsMail asked candidates how they would tackle youth crime.
The NewsMail asked candidates how they would tackle youth crime.

CANDIDATE Q&A: How they’ll fix youth crime

THE NewsMail asked all candidates running in the state election for Bundaberg and Burnett about their stance on youth crime.

All candidates have been sent the questions. The candidates who feature below have responded.

Our courts see many young people. What will you do to help combat youth crime?

BUNDABERG (candidates in ballot order)


LNP incumbent David Batt.
LNP incumbent David Batt.


David Batt (LNP Incumbent)

The LNP has announced our tough and comprehensive plan to crackdown on youth crime right across the state. The current juvenile justice system wrongly puts offenders before victims - that must change. Our policy encompasses the whole issue and will make sweeping changes to prevent youth crime, crack down on perpetrators and rehabilitate offenders to contribute to the community.

An LNP Government will:

• Implement tougher laws and give our police the powers they need to deal with youth offenders

• Monitor youth offenders on bail 24/7

• Introduce mandatory detention for third convictions

• Establish a Community Payback Farm program where youths will learn new skills, improve self-discipline and teach offenders to take ownership for their actions, with a focus on culturally appropriate programs and elder mentoring

• Scrap youth bail houses

• Trial justice reinvestment where a portion of funds for youth detention will be diverted to local communities where there is a high concentration of offenders - promoting physical, cognitive, social and emotional health in children to reduce youth crime in specific communities

As a former police officer, I strongly support the LNPs common sense approach to dealing with youth crime.


Tom Smith outside the polling booth.
Tom Smith outside the polling booth.


Tom Smith (Labor)

The number of young people charged with an offence in Bundaberg has fallen consistently under the Palaszczuk Labor Government, from 72 in 2014-15 to just 30 in 2019-20.

That comes down to a number of really successful programs run in our city that not only hold young people to account, but give them the opportunity to turn their lives around - programs like Transition 2 Success, which takes young people at risk of contact with the justice system and helps them re-engage with education and training.

We have seen positive outcomes with bail support services and restorative justice conferencing.

Importantly, the Palaszczuk Government has come down on repeat youth offenders, introducing laws to deny bail for those considered a danger to the community - laws the LNP voted against.

A re-elected Palaszczuk Government will deliver an additional 150 police to our region, while the LNP sacked 300 police personnel under Deb Frecklington and Campbell Newman.


BURNETT (candidates in ballot order)


Burnett candidate Ric Glass.
Burnett candidate Ric Glass.


Ric Glass (independent)

It is not as big a problem in Burnett and Bundaberg because of Policing and Ex Senior Police, now Mayor and MP involved in Policy making and keeping a close watch.

We are not Aurukun or Townsville/Cairns for example.

I lived in Rockhampton and it was pretty bad there, but because Outreach was on the streets every night, we could ring "places" to round the kids up and take them home.

Darumbal was fantastic support and no Police needed to be involved unless there was a serious incident.

I really think it is "in your face" and we all hate it, including the parents, but less a problem here.

Magistrates and Judges are doing a great Job for Burnett/Bundaberg.

Although we complain it is a "slap on the wrist", these people are at the coal face and my experience from Outreach tells me, they are getting it right, eventually when some turn up too often, the heat gets turned up on those little criminals'.


LNP incumbent for Burnett Stephen Bennett.
LNP incumbent for Burnett Stephen Bennett.


Stephen Bennett (LNP incumbent)

Labor's youth crime crisis is hurting households and businesses.

The Palaszczuk Government's soft sentencing and catch-and-release bail laws mean repeat offenders face no deterrent and commit more crime.

Communities across Queensland feel less safe today because crime is getting worse and there are no consequences for the perpetrators.

It's not good enough that homeowners go to bed wondering if their car will still be in the driveway in the morning or that shopkeepers expect violent robberies as inevitable.

The LNP has announced a comprehensive crackdown on crime - particularly youth crime.

An LNP Government will introduce tougher laws, monitor youth offenders on bail.


KAP candidate Paul Hudson.
KAP candidate Paul Hudson.

Paul Hudson (Katter's Australian Party)

Relocation sentencing is a way to break the cycle of crime.

But the sentences need to be significant and severe.

I am tired of hearing about lenient judges letting people off with a slap on the wrist.