COUNTDOWN BEGINS: These six Southern Downs candidates will be petitioning for your vote this Saturday, October 31.
COUNTDOWN BEGINS: These six Southern Downs candidates will be petitioning for your vote this Saturday, October 31.

ELECTION COUNTDOWN: Candidates on crime

THE future of the Southern Downs will be decided at the state elections this Saturday, October 31.

In the lead-up to the election The Daily News aimed to provide insight into candidates’ experiences, ideas, visions and priorities.

Today we have posed this pressing electoral issue to the candidates to answer:

What would you do to curb a growing crime problem in the Southern Downs if elected?

SOUTHERN DOWNS CANDIDATES

Incumbent Member for Southern Downs James Lister with LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander on the campaign trail.
Incumbent Member for Southern Downs James Lister with LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander on the campaign trail.

James Lister (LNP)

“Police and good law-abiding people are sick of excuses for the growing youth and drug crime problem, and we hate Labor’s prioritisation of offenders’ rights above victims’ rights. I say get ’em off the streets first before we have those conversations about causes and fixes.

The LNP will bring back the offence of breach-of-bail to stop the same kids from committing the same crimes night after night. Why on earth did the Palaszczuk Labor Government water down the law? The LNP will also toughen criminal laws and introduce mandatory detention for a third offence to keep the community safe.

I am very worried about the growing drug problem here. The LNP will get to work on four new drug rehabilitation centres and reintroduce our crackdown on gangs and organised drug syndicates.”

ALP candidate Joel Richters.
ALP candidate Joel Richters.

Joel Richters (Australian Labor Party)

“All the evidence shows that the best way to tackle youth crime is through mentorship programs. This is why I am advocating for Project Booyah which is a 16 week police mentoring program with an 80% success rate. This program will make a huge difference to our youth crime rates.

The crime stats show us that offending rates are most concerning in the places where extra boots on the ground will make a big difference. The Palaszczuk Labor Government is making the single biggest investment in front line police officers delivering no less than 150 extra police officers for our region.

That will mean more police available to conduct traffic duties and to respond to domestic violence. This will make a huge difference.

The LNP want to pay lip service to the needs for addition police. We won’t forget that the Newman Government made police buy their own equipment like body cameras and cut frontline police officers. They also want to run back to breach of bail for youth offenders which didn’t work last time.

Under the LNP offences like weapons and breaching domestic violence orders grew. Most notably stock related offences in our region averaged 40 per month under the LNP, while under a Labor Government our stock offences have almost gone completely.

Of course we know this because we made these statistics public, while they refused to. You just can’t trust the LNP.”

One Nation's Southern Downs candidate Rosemary Moulden.
One Nation's Southern Downs candidate Rosemary Moulden.

Rosemary Moulden (One Nation)

“One Nation has developed a very detailed 10 point plan to address youth crime in the Southern Downs area. This plan includes, implementing juvenile diversion programs, with Remote work stations, youth Camps, local Support Hubs as alternative sentencing options. Implementing Greater Collaboration between Departments and Programs to support the work of QLD Police Force. The mentoring and inclusion of Indigenous Elder programs and Ankle Monitoring in key Hot spots.

To increase Youth liaison officers, with support and counselling services. as well as, Partner Programs Parental Accountability and inclusion of Department of Child safety before returning youth offenders to their homes.

24 Counselling services for Victims of crime. Plus a change to the Bail Act and a minimum 6 month diversion program.

Evidence shows a large number of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders are young offenders, One Nation supports “On Country” diversion programs that reintroduce culture and elder leadership for our offenders.

Public records highlight 1526 detention admissions in 2018-2019 period lets work together as a State to reduce this number.”

SFFP candidate for the Southern Downs Malcolm Richardson.
SFFP candidate for the Southern Downs Malcolm Richardson.

RICHARDSON, Malcolm (Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party)

“I believe the crime in the Southern Downs, as with in most of our state, is due to a lack of ramifications for the actions. I remember growing up being respectful but also fearful of the law, and those who enforced it. Over the years we have seen penalties and sentences soften for a variety of reasons. This plays directly into the issues with crime we see today.

The biggest single factor for our rising crime rate is the lack of respect and fear our younger people have for the law and police. Time and again we see offenders leaving court laughing or joking about getting away with a fine that they can add to their SPER debts and not a care in the world about the words of the judge.

We are not for more incarceration, especially of youth, but we are certainly for tougher stance on law and more serious ramifications for crimes. If we can instil a sense of fear and respect for the law back into our youth and younger adults, we will see a change in crime rate. If we add to that stronger penalties and sentences while putting more power back into the hands of magistrates to hand down stiff penalties rather than ‘slap on the wrist’ fines etc we will see people take notice.

Having a harsh penalty will send a message that ALL crime is taken seriously and you will be dealt with swiftly and with serious consequences. This we believe will bring that fear back that if you do the crime you will do the time.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Greens candidate Tom Henderson and Legalise Cannabis Qld candidate Deborah Waldron were invited to participate but did not meet The Daily News’ deadline.

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