5 MINUTES: Youth Crime in Bonner

Every person has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home.

They have the right to feel at ease when they walk down the street with their family to go to the park or visit a mate’s place.

They have the right to feel comfortable when they go to the shops, no matter what time of the day or night. They have the right to know, when they go to sleep at night, that all will be okay in the morning when they wake up.

But, in Queensland, those rights to safety, protection and security have fast been slipping away, including in my electorate of Bonner.

I shouldn’t have to be standing here giving this speech. One of the most important roles of any government is to protect its people no matter what side of politics you are from. This principle is at the very foundation of all nations and states around the world.

Yet there are too many people in Queensland and in my electorate of Bonner who just don’t feel safe, like Lama from Rochedale.

Lama’s house was broken into. Her bag, wallet and car were all stolen. When she went down into her garage to check on her car, she fell, breaking her ankle.

Lama was 12 weeks pregnant. No-one should have to go through the stress and trauma of having their house broken into, especially not when they are pregnant and focusing on their health and the health of their unborn child.

And Yu-Ying from Rochedale told me her young children don’t feel safe and are struggling to sleep at night because of the high number of break-ins in the area.

Yu-Ying said one of the main conversations her children are having at school is about how their classmates’ homes are getting broken into. This is causing them to feel stressed and anxious.

The thought of, ‘What if our house next?’ is running through their minds and making Yu-Ying’s children feel vulnerable. That apprehension is not allowing them to focus on school, which is so important, especially in the early years of learning.

Simply put, this isn’t good enough.

Unfortunately the situation is not unique to Rochedale. John from Mansfield recently had his house broken into at 1.30 pm, in broad daylight. Three teenage boys broke into his house, broke down the door, without concern or fear of repercussions.

And why should they fear? With watered-down Queensland crime laws and a lack of resources and support of our incredibly hardworking police, a slap on the wrist is all these youths will get, and they know it.

It’s not just households who are being targeted. Local sporting clubs and community groups are also in the firing line of the Queensland youth crime crisis.

The Wynnum Wolves Football Club have been rebuilding their clubhouse and grounds after the devastating impacts of the February 2022 floods. Just last week their newly renovated dressing rooms and amenities were vandalised and graffitied.

This deliberate destruction of the club facilities caused $20,000 worth of damage. Volunteers, parents, players and club members are heartbroken and frustrated, as this is not the first time the Wynnum Wolves Football Club has been the victim of youth crime.

Whilst all these stories of youth crime have been horrible, there was one last year that still sticks with me.

A Hemmant man, a father of three and a loving husband, tragically was killed after being hit by a stolen car driven by a 15-year-old teen. When will this end? When will people be able to stop living in fear of being broken into because of youth crime?

When will sporting groups not have to worry about facilities being damaged and destroyed? And when will families never again have to say goodbye to a loved one who has been killed as a result of youth crime?

It’s time for change in Queensland, and we’re coming up to one year until the Queensland state elections, when Queenslanders will have a choice.

They can choose to re-elect a state Labor government who have created this youth crime crisis and who have admitted that they cannot fix it themselves, or they can back a David Crisafulli led government, who will be tough on crime, who will put Queenslanders first and who are determined to make sure that every Queenslander is safe and secure in their own home. It’s safe to say I know who I’ll be backing.