Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, says there is total confusion within the Newman Government about the future of its boot camp program for youth offenders.
“So far we have seen the Far North boot camp embroiled in controversy over the selection of its operators, and then open and close quickly after its occupants escaped,” Mr Pitt said.
“We then saw the dismissal of the boot camp’s operator.
“Now we see a leaked email from within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General saying the Far North Queensland camp has been suspended.
“But the Attorney-General Jarod Bleijie this morning says everything is going according to plan while the Premier has expressed a different view, saying there may be a combined FNQ and North Queensland boot camp.
“Only a few weeks ago at the Budget Estimates Hearings Mr Bleijie said tenders for all boot camps would be announced soon and the camps would be up and running in September.
“We are still waiting for the list of successful operators and for starting dates and locations.”
Mr Pitt said it was clear the Newman Government did not know what it was doing despite boot camps being one of its key election promises.
“Mr Bleijie has bungled the program from day one,” he said.
“That is an alarming situation, especially in light of suggestions that the still-secret Keelty Review of police, emergency services and corrective service may recommend putting Mr Bleijie in charge of our prison system.
“His greatest claim to fame so far has been the escape of the first occupants from the FNQ boot camp’s Kuranda facility.
“The FNQ boot camp was meant to open in January this year but started in April and was closed the same month after the escape.
“Mr Bleijie also needs to clarify the cost of this exercise.
“The LNP’s election commitment was to spend $2 million over two years to establish the camps in Far North Queensland and on the Gold Coast.
“But that cost has already blown out and may have hit $3 million or more over two years, plus at least $3.1 million more needs to be found for boot camps in Central Queensland, North Queensland and the Fraser Coast.
“Mr Bleijie has said that money will be found from within his department which means it can only come from cutting services or jobs,” Mr Pitt said.