LNP com­mits to de­ten­tion cen­tres

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

YOUNG crim­i­nals could be locked up in a se­cond Townsville youth de­ten­tion cen­tre un­der a plan by the LNP.

The Op­po­si­tion will today an­nounce a $ 40 mil­lion com­mit­ment to build two new ded­i­cated “rein­te­gra­tion cen­tres” – one in North Queens­land and the other in the south­east.

The LNP has not yet cho­sen ex­act lo­ca­tions for the de­ten­tion cen­tres, how­ever it is un­der­stood both Townsville and Cairns are be­ing con­sid­ered for North Queens­land’s.

If elected, the LNP would also scrap La­bor’s con­tro­ver­sial plan to use sub­ur­ban youth bail houses across the state, in­clud­ing in Townsville.

LNP leader Tim Ni­cholls said the plan would put com­mu­nity safety first but with a fo­cus on re­duc­ing crime and re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing young of­fend­ers.

“The LNP’s plan will in­clude two new facilities that will pro­vide an ad­di­tional 90 beds and hold 17 to 25- yearolds in medium se­cu­rity fa­cili- ties,” he said. “The fo­cus of our rein­te­gra­tion cen­tres will be around vo­ca­tional train­ing and pro­vid­ing young pris­on­ers with the sup­port they need to rein­te­grate back into the com­mu­nity on re­lease.”

The 90 beds would spread across both facilities.

Mr Ni­cholls said the plan would “go a long way to break­ing the re­volv­ing door of crime” un­der Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk.

La­bor came un­der fire for its sub­ur­ban bail houses pol­icy in Septem­ber af­ter con­cerns that it would jeop­ar­dise the safety of sur­round­ing neigh­bours.

The LNP will also spend an ad­di­tional $ 8 mil­lion as part of its plan to re­duce re­of­fend­ing rates for young crim­i­nals and adult of­fend­ers who are re­leased from jail.

The pledge, also to be an- be nounced today, will in­clude dis­tribut­ing the fund­ing boost as grants to non- gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions un­der two key themes – en­forc­ing the im­por­tance of bail and pris­oner reen­try and rein­te­gra­tion.

Op­po­si­tion spokesman for cor­rec­tive ser­vices Tim Mander said pro­tect­ing the com­mu­nity was es­sen­tial and in sharp con­trast with the La­bor Gov­ern­ment that had de­cided to house vi­o­lent young of­fend­ers in sub­ur­ban bail houses.

“An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk’s pol­icy is a dis­grace,” he said.

“Queens­land fam­i­lies should feel safe in their sub­urbs and not be forced to live next to these sub­ur­ban de­ten­tion cen­tres.

“We know crime is an is­sue, we have lis­tened to the com­mu­nity and we won’t back sub­ur­ban de­ten­tion cen­tres. We will put com­mu­nity safety first, un­like An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk.

“The con­trast be­tween the soft- on- crime Palaszczuk La­bor Gov­ern­ment and the LNP could not be starker.

“The LNP will keep dan­ger­ous young of­fend­ers charged with a crime in a se­cure fa­cil­ity — not liv­ing in the house next door to your fam­ily.”

LNP leader Tim Ni­cholls.

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