‘Disappointed’: Govt’s new bail laws not enforced for months

TOWNSVILLE residents will have to wait months for a potential reprieve from the city's youth crime crisis after the State Government's new legislation was introduced to parliament without any urgency.

In state parliament on Tuesday, the new legislation on bail laws was sent to a committee to review, before coming back to be debated in a process that could takes months.

The lag did not sit well with Shadow Police Minister Dale Last who said the government should have enacted emergency legislation to get the new laws to courtrooms as soon as possible.

"When the government had an opportunity to introduce legislation to deal with the youth crime in this state, they failed to step up to the plate," Mr Last said.

Burdekin MP and shadow police minister Dale Last spoke to media following a weekend crime spree in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Burdekin MP and shadow police minister Dale Last spoke to media following a weekend crime spree in Townsville. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

The new legislation was announced earlier this month after a young motorcyclist, Jennifer Board, was killed in a stolen car crash at Kirwan on February 5.

The Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised stricter bail laws, which would force an offender to prove why they should be let out on bail, as well as a GPS tracker trial in multiple cities, including Townsville.

Ms Palaszczuk said the new legislation would be introduced to parliament when it returned this month.

Parliament sat on Friday, the legislation was introduced, and sent to a committee to be reviewed before it comes back to parliament for debate.

Katter's Australian Party Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the government had other options, including rushing through an emergency bill, similar to that done during COVID-19.

Mr Katter said the North Queensland community had waited long enough for these changes.

Mr Last said he was very disappointed.

"They are quick to talk this up but when it came time to introduce that legislation into parliament … they were nowhere to be found."

Robbie Katter.
Robbie Katter.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said his party was pushing for amendments to the legislation to include mandatory sentencing on serious offending, relocation sentencing, and omitting a clause in the law which states detention was a last resort for young offenders.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the government listened to the community and was acting decisively.

"The legislation is on track to be introduced to parliament this week," he said in a statement.

"These reforms build on and extend on the work that government is already undertaking particularly in the early intervention and prevention area."




Originally published as 'Disappointed': Govt's new bail laws not enforced for months