Townsville Bulletin

Calls for talks on disorder


TWO North Queensland MPS have called for an urgent roundtable meeting between state government ministers, members and the police after attacks on police.

Katter’s Australian Party MPS Robbie Katter and Nick Dametto say Townsville, Mount Isa and Cairns have been allowed to descend into mayhem due to the state government’s lax crime legislatio­n.

On Tuesday night, a rock was thrown at a police car from a stolen vehicle, with an officer taken to hospital with suspected glass in his eye. This follows a spate of attacks on Sunday night where a group of youths threw bricks at police cars.

KAP wants Police Minister Mark Ryan, Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard and North Queensland MPS to meet with Regional Queensland Deputy Commission­er Paul Taylor in the next two weeks.

“Our cities are now nothing but playground­s for delinquent youths who have no life skills, no hope for a future and nothing to offer society at this point but carnage,” Mr Katter said.

His party colleague Mr Dametto said the three Townsville Labor MPS, Scott Stewart, Les Walker and Aaron Harper, needed to stand up for the community, or stand aside.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a frontline police officer right now on the streets of Townsville – these children have no respect for our community, the law or themselves,” Mr Dametto said.

Opposition police spokesman Dale Last also said the state needed to take ownership of the issue.

“The events of the last few days in Townsville show the reality of the crime situation and are in stark contrast to the claims by Labor ministers and MPS that their plan is working,” the Burdekin MP said.

“Make no mistake, whether it’s a stolen vehicle, a brick or a rock, these criminals are using weapons in an attempt to harm police and members of the public. This type of behaviour can, and already has, caused fatalities and I fear we may see more people seriously injured or killed.”

Mundingbur­ra MP Les Walker, who is facing common assault charges, said the offenders should be locked up.

“The behaviour is extremely, extremely dangerous, and they need to get the police all the support they need,” he said. “Custody does not need to be a last resort on this occasion.”

Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said the behaviour of the offenders was “absolutely deplorable” and disgracefu­l. Mr Harper, who has been a strong supporter of the state government’s recent changes to the youth justice legislatio­n, said while the government put programs in place to help turn around the lives of some offenders, some would always choose the wrong path.

“That is the path they choose … with that comes consequenc­es,” Mr Harper said.

Townsville MP Mr Scott Stewart said the actions of the offenders was “disgusting and concerning”.

“I expect them to be caught and pulled before the courts,.

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