Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says today’s boot camp announcement makes it is clear the LNP Government is focussed on hype and spin rather than reducing crime by supporting disadvantaged youth.

“After a year of conjecture today’s announcement by the LNP amounted to one boot camp with five young people in it, and another boot camp that finally has a location but as yet has no participants,” Mr Pitt said.

“This LNP government is so focussed on cutting good programs that it struggles to deliver its questionable ones.

“LNP members should be properly representing their communities and focusing on successful programs rather than untested programs they can’t even deliver,” he said.

On the 15th of November 2012 the Attorney General said in parliament:

“My department will now work closely with the service providers to ensure that the youth boots
camps are up and running by early January 2013”.

Mr Pitt said the Attorney now hopes the Cairns Boot Camp will be operational nearly three months late.

On Tuesday the Minister for Police surprised us all when he proclaimed:

“The Government’s boot camp trials are also up and running”.

Then he went further and stated:

“If these trials continue to be a success, it is the government’s intention to expand them”.

“Then finally today the Attorney announces the Cairns location for a maximum of five youths,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the LNP have put all their eggs in one basket with their boot camp policy, at the detriment of local programs which were servicing more people with a greater success rate.

“In contrast, the previous Labor Government funded many successful programs to reduce crime which have all been cut since the LNP were elected,” he said.

“The LNP cuts include; cuts to community and NGO groups focussed on cutting youth crime, cuts to Skilling Queenslanders for Work and cuts to youth justice staff and cuts to Youth Justice Conferencing.

“The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative was one concrete way young people could receive training or other support leading to a job, and encouraging and equipping people to take up employment is one definite way to address offending behaviour.

“And it’s no secret that the Labor Opposition holds a preference for youth justice conferencing as an early intervention tool and an alternative to punishing young offenders in court.

“In fact official figures from the Children’s Court of Queensland show 95 per cent of participants in youth conferencing reach an agreement in the conference, 98 per cent of participants are satisfied with the resolution reached and 97 per cent would tell a friend to undergo a similar process.

“The previous Labor Government used a number of tried and tested ways of reducing youth crime as opposed to dubious boot camp models which have been proven ineffective in other jurisdictions.”