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9 July, 2021

Fire and brazen crime prompts call for urgent public meeting

THE calls for an urgent public meeting or rally to be convened to address growing concerns about juvenile and youth off ending in Mareeba and The Tablelands have increased in the wake of a brazen crime at a local business just minutes after it opened its doors for morning trading.

By Michael Warren

Fantasy Tails owners Zac Kroonenburg and Jared Yates have called for a public rally to be held in Mareeba to address juvenile and youth crime following a brazen and recent morning robbery at the Byrnes St business.

THE calls for an urgent public meeting or rally to be convened to address growing concerns about juvenile and youth off ending in Mareeba and The Tablelands have increased in the wake of a brazen crime at a local business just minutes after it opened its doors for morning trading. 

The incident comes just days after local business, Performance Motors, was guttered by a terrible fire in the early hours of last Tuesday morning. 

Fantasy Tails, a pet shop business on Byrnes St in Mareeba was just minutes into its morning trade when around 9.50am last Thursday two juveniles possibly one female and one male fled the premise with an aluminium reflector dome, in simple terms, a lamp that keeps reptiles, like lizards, warm in their tanks. 

It’s understood the duo also snatched an employee’s wallet as he was busily cleaning and feeding pets at the back of the store. 

Co-owner of Fantasy Tails, Jared Yates said he along with fellow business owners and local community members would strongly welcome the opportunity to talk with Mayor Angela Toppin and local state MPs, Cynthia Lui and Shane Knuth in a public forum to have their concerns collectively heard and addressed. 

“To literally have items stolen from the shop just moments after we opened for the morning is very disappointing,” Mr Yates said. 

“This particular issue has been going on far too much recently, particularly on the back of the terrible fire – enough is enough. 

“I would love the opportunity to voice my concerns at a public meeting or rally where I and other business owners can talk with people who are in a position to help us, like the State MPs and the like. 

“I want to know that when I come into work in the morning my business is not going to be subject to thefts, robberies or for us to be victims of juvenile crimes.” 

Cook MP Cynthia Lui confirmed she had raised juvenile and youth offending with senior colleagues but stopped short of confirming that she, herself, would table such a meeting. 

“Every Queenslander deserves to be safe at home and at work,” Ms Lui told The Express. 

“After the recent incidents involving young people in our community, I have spoken with Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard. 

“The Minister has asked senior departmental officers, including the Deputy Director- General and local Regional Executive Director to travel to Mareeba to meet with stakeholders on the ground to ensure that everything that can be done to address this small cohort of youth off enders is being done. 

“I, along with the Minister, look forward to being briefed on the situation after those meetings take place.” 

The Express also contacted mayor Angela Toppin for comment but she was tied up in meetings as The Express went to print. However, Ms Toppin did provide the following statement regarding the matter. 

“Council condemns spiralling youth crime activities in Mareeba and is well aware that the community is very angry,” Ms Toppin said. 

“Council will continue to urge the State Government, through local State Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui to take appropriate action.”


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