Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk. Sharyn O'Neill

Urban area off limits for boot camp due to safety concerns

A BOOT camp destined for the Sunshine Coast or Fraser Coast will not be in an urban area after "serious failings" in Cairns - but the actual location is still undecided.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told a budget estimates hearing at Queensland Parliament that he would receive the tender applications and make a decision between the two coast locations within the next fortnight.

He said he intended to announce the Rockhampton and Townsville providers in the next two weeks.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk questioned how Queenslanders could have confidence in the boot camps after two armed youths escaped, allegedly threatening a carer with a knife and nearby resident with a pair of scissors before stealing money at Kuranda.

Justice Department Director-General John Sosso said his department would no longer allow boot camps in residential areas.

He said it was important in the future to select boot camp locations in a "safe environment" for both the juveniles involved but "more importantly, for the community".

Mr Sosso, under questioning, said he was confident the boot camps would meet the September timeframe for operation.

He said tender criteria for early intervention boot camps included dedication to fixing the issues, staff capability and knowledge with bonus points if they had run something similar before.

"It's obviously in the interests of everyone that it be done as quickly as possible," he said.

"We're learning from our mistakes as we go in this one."

Mr Bleijie said he had seen good results from the Gold Coast boot camp, joking about being thrown 40m in the air by a group of girls during one visit.

He said it occurred to him that his life was in the hands of people he had sent to the boot camp as he was about 10m up so he was relieved the supervisor was also holding the rope.

Mr Bleijie said the boot camps were not fun though and it was about stopping at-risk youths from entering the costly youth detention system.


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