Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, says Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie must take responsibility for the Kuranda boot camp bungle that enabled the only two participants to escape.
“Mr Bleijie needs to say how the sole two occupants of his boot camp managed to allegedly obtain a dangerous implement and walk out the door into the wider community where they also allegedly menaced a nearby resident,” Mr Pitt said.
“Mr Bleijie is always willing to jump in front of cameras for good news stories, so he needs to front and take the rap for the bad news and bungles too.
“He needs to guarantee to local communities that his preferred model for boot camps is safe and that he can guarantee the security of nearby residents.
“The safety of the community and staff must be paramount in any corrective facility or program, so Mr Bleijie needs to explain if his preferred service provider has fulfilled its obligations.
“If they did, then clearly we have seen already that the Bleijie model is not working.
“We need to know how the two offenders allegedly obtained a dangerous implement to threaten people, and how is it that the sole two occupants of Mr Bleijie’ s boot camp could escape.
“Does the boot camp have sufficient staff, security and other surveillance in place and are the on-site carers sufficiently trained?
“If not, what is Mr Bleijie going to do to provide a guarantee of no more escapes?”
Mr Pitt said he had previously raised concerns about the rushed process for establishing the boot camp scheme.
“In their rush to appear tough on youth crime, the LNP has fallen at the first hurdle,” he said.
“Does the Bleijie model provide the level of security needed, or is it just a hastily cobbled together scheme to give him and his government political cover after they slashed court-referred youth justice conferencing programs and abolished intensive diversionary programs operated through the Drug Court, Special Circumstances Court and the Murri Court.”
Mr Pitt said there had been concerns about this boot camp rollout in Far North Queensland from the start.
“In November last year I raised questions in Parliament during the debate of the Youth Justice (Boot Camp Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill about the way that the tender process was conducted,” he said.
“Additionally, there have been issues with selecting a location, it was three months late being delivered. There are questions about the suitability of provider and training for staff.
“Given the boot camp has been in operation for only three weeks and the entire first intake have managed to escape, Mr Bleijie must order a review, not just about this incident but of the entire concept here in the Far North.
“The Attorney-General may have brushed aside the concerns I raised in the Parliament but he cannot brush this aside. He needs to take full responsibility,” Mr Pitt said.