Emotional MP: Jack Beasley’s death ‘will not be in vain’
A GOLD Coast MP has promised slain teen Jack Beasley's death "will not be in vain" as new laws tackling the ongoing youth justice crisis were given the green light by Parliament.
The 17-year-old died outside a Surfers Paradise supermarket in December 2019. Five teens are scheduled to stand trial for murder. All five were aged between 15 and 18 at the time of his death.
In an emotional speech to Parliament, Bonney MP Sam O'Connor called for an end to the "toxic and pervasive knife culture" among young people.
"(Jack's mother) Belinda Beasley spoke so bravely at the Gold Coast public hearing," he said. "Standing up in front of a parliamentary committee to talk about the trauma you have gone through is hard enough, but by some heartbreaking coincidence the hearing was held barely 100 metres from where Jack was allegedly murdered.
"To tell her story his mother had to walk past the place where her son lost his life."
Mr O'Connor then became choked up as he recounted parts of Ms Beasley's speech, describing the moment she learned of Jack's death.
He said: "Tonight I reaffirm my commitment that Jack's death will not be in vain. His name will mean something and it will lead to change. We could have the toughest laws in the world but they mean nothing if we do not fix the toxic and pervasive knife culture that exists among some young people.
"I understand there are some who have been uncomfortable with the wands (but) ultimately if you are not carrying anything illegal on our streets then you should have no cause for concern.
"There is no reason to take a hunting knife into the middle of Surfers Paradise."
Outside Parliament he said: "I've been dealing with (the Beasley family) for a year and a bit now and it just meant a lot.
"It's the first step for them and what the Jack Beasley Foundation is trying to do."
The new laws, voted in on Thursday night, attempt to minimise knife crime in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach safe-night precincts and protect road users from hoons.
Measures include "hand-held scanners" in the CBDs to find hidden knives and tracking devices on young offenders let out on bail.
But the measures have been met with some disdain by some Gold Coast MPs.
Theodore MP Mark Boothman said they were a Band-Aid "on a festering wound".
"This issue has been going on for many years. This problem has not gone away, and it's not gotten any better.
"Assaults on the Gold Coast have doubled since 2016. This, in a tourism capital, (shows) we need more police resources.
"One gentleman (in my area) is terrified he's going to get a car through his front windows, because there is a large amount of hooning on his street.
"He rings the police regularly and is told there are no units available. We need more officers on the Gold Coast."
Originally published as Emotional MP: Jack Beasley's death 'will not be in vain'