“People need to be listened to” – Council requests community meeting to discuss local crime

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Goondiwindi Regional Council at its February Ordinary Meeting yesterday resolved to request our local state member, James Lister MP, to co-ordinate a community meeting regarding crime in Goondiwindi.

Details for the date, time and location of the community meeting will be announced as soon as they are confirmed - and Council commits to attend.

“People need to be listened to,” Mayor of the Goondiwindi Region the Honourable Cr Lawrence Springborg AM said today.

“The courts and police are responsibilities of the Queensland Government,” he said. “Any potential law changes are matters for state parliament and the state government. Council is therefore requesting that the Goondiwindi community is given an opportunity to hear directly from those state authorities – and to express their concerns and suggestions.

“Given recent violent home invasions, our community has the right to be informed on current Queensland laws and their limitations, and hear about their rights, directly from the state authorities and what is being done to protect them,” he said.

“We also want state authorities to provide further suggestions for improved community safety, since many residents feel they are already doing all that they can.”

This is the latest in a long list of Council advocacy regarding local crime solutions. In May last year, Council, working alongside the state government, was successfully able to advocate for increased police resources in Goondiwindi – an extra seven permanent full-time police officers, which has enabled the local police station to operate 24 hours a day.

In October, Council proposed a motion at the 2022 Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) annual conference to review the Juvenile Justice and associated Acts to provide for enhanced police powers and greater consequences for offenders and additional community supervision for offenders under restraint or community release. The motion was overwhelmingly supported by all 77 local governments across Queensland, and has since been used to advocate for further law change across the state.

“However, there are clear limitations on Council’s authority on what are clearly state matters,” the Mayor said. “Despite Council’s very best efforts, we are sadly facing continuing incidents in our town. As is apparent to all, we are not alone, with similar issues across the state.

“Our local challenges are complicated by the cross-border nature of our community. Our crime generally relates to a small cohort of local recidivist juvenile offenders and occasionally crimes perpetrated by individuals that have travelled from hundreds of kilometres away. More recently, this has escalated to violent home invasions - this is cause for great concern and it’s clear that more needs to be done.”

Council continues to facilitate Border Crime Prevention meetings, re-established in 2021, with the next meeting on 9 March. Since being re-established, it’s been able to secure better cross-border collaboration between Queensland and New South Wales authorities, as well as a commitment from the Office of the NSW Cross-Border Commissioner to recruit a dedicated Community Coordination Officer to oversee the Toomelah-Boggabilla pilot project, focusing on developing solutions to community challenges on the ground. There has also been a recent commitment from the QLD Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs of additional youth justice resources to our community

23rd February 2023 at 12:00 AM