In our submission responding to the Inquiry into the Queensland Community Safety Bill 2024, QCOSS outlined that we do not support the Bill. Drawing on the expertise of community service organisations, we outlined that many of the amendments proposed in the Bill are not rights respecting, nor evidence based.

QCOSS, and our members, remain concerned that the “tough-on-crime” approach to youth justice in Queensland has resulted in catastrophic and traumatising outcomes that impact children as young as 10 years old. This Bill reflects yet another step in the wrong direction.

It is particularly alarming that the Bill seeks to remove the principle of detention as a last resort from the Youth Justice Act. It also seeks to implement a range of other harsh measures at a time when Queensland is already detaining more children than any other jurisdiction in Australia and when children are currently being held in adult watch houses for significant lengths of time.

This trajectory must not continue. QCOSS also does not support the proposed amendments to definitions in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (‘the DFVP Act’) to remove parent-minor child relationships from domestic and family violence responses.

Measures aimed at improving community safety should be underpinned by community consultation and based on evidence. This is not adequately reflected in the Bill.

Following the introduction of Queensland’s Human Rights Act, legislation and policy should be shaped and guided by a fundamental commitment to respect, protect and fulfill human rights across Queensland.

This Bill includes amendments that are not consistent with the rights of Queensland’s most vulnerable children and will exacerbate issues in the youth justice system, which is already at a crisis point.

31 May 2024 |Service type: