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26 August, 2021

MSC looks to stamp out youth crime

MAREEBA Shire Council (MSC) is making a desperate plea to the State Government asking them to make legislative changes to urgently address youth crime in the community.

By Rhys Thomas

MAREEBA Shire Council (MSC) is making a desperate plea to the State Government asking them to make legislative changes to urgently address youth crime in the community. 

For what seems like years the Mareeba community has been plagued by an ever-growing cohort of youth who continue to steal, rob, break and enter and have now even resorted to arson.

These youth are constantly caught by police, but soft courts have seen them released back out onto the streets time and time again with nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a promise to “do better next time.” 

Now MSC is submitting a motion to the Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) to address the growing curve of youth crime.

LGAQ is the peak body for local government in Queensland, providing them a better avenue and voice at the state and federal level. 

“Addressing youth crime and antisocial behaviour is beyond Council’s mandate,” MSC Mayor Angela Toppin said. 

“However, by seeking the support of members of LGAQ to advocate for change, we have an opportunity to bring this issue to the attention of the Queensland Government.” 

Mayor Toppin acknowledges the work that numerous government and not-for-profit agencies undertake to reduce youth crime and improve the lives of young people but is asking for more. 

Council acknowledges that the incidence of youth crime in the community, and across the state, is costly, causing fear and division, and a significant financial burden.


The full recommendation that MSC is submitting to LGAQ:

1. That the State increase the penalties and consequences for criminal acts by youth offenders and potentially guardians.

2. That the State introduce legislation and increases funding that:
a) Allows state and community service agencies to provide targeted intensive support to identified families where there is a lack of parental care or threat, that reinforces parental responsibilities to enable children to feel safe and cared for by their family.
b) Reinforces and supports parents to provide adequate care for children / youth and provide mechanisms to deal with those parents who cannot or will not.

3. That the State provides additional funding to agencies to provide support and facilities where youth can be safely housed and provided guidance and help for those situations when living at home is not a safe option. This includes education and trade skill opportunities. 

4. That the State engages with Councils, via the LGAQ on how to address these issues


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