Parents to cop $250 fine if kids break curfew


A controversial curfew proposal aimed at curbing youth crime in Townsville and Cairns has been rehashed by the LNP just 10 days out from polling day.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington also warned parents they could cop a $250 fine if their child breached the curfew.

In her third trip to Townsville during the campaign so far, Ms Frecklington said the party would introduce laws to impose a curfew of 8pm for kids aged 14 and younger and 10pm for those aged 15-17.

Crime has again dominated the election in north Queensland, with both the major and minor parties having announced a raft of policies.

The seat of Townsville is held by Labor's Scott Stewart by just 0.38 per cent.

Under the new plan, police would have the power to take a child to a community refuge and hold them there until a parent or a social worker could pick them up.

Queensland opposition LNP leader Deb Frecklington. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Queensland opposition LNP leader Deb Frecklington. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Parents will also cop a $250 fine if their child is found on the streets without a reasonable excuse and could face multiple fines if they have several children found to have breached the curfew.

"This is about making sure that parents become responsible for their children," Ms Frecklington said. "In fact everyone in our community must be responsible for the crime problem that we have here in Townsville. We've got to give police the powers that they need."

A curfew was central to the LNP's proposed crackdown on youth crime at the 2017 election, with former Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls committing to a six-month trial of a curfew for children under 16 roaming the streets after 10pm.

Ms Frecklington said police would use "common sense" to determine whether a youth needed to be taken to a refuge.

"The police here in Townsville know who these youths are, they know the youths are laughing in the face of the police officers, they are laughing in the face of the government because Labor are soft on crime," she said. "Common sense will prevail.

"If the child is naturally doing the right thing and they are on their way home, then naturally they will be allowed to go home."

Ms Frecklington said there would be beds at the refuge centres for youths who needed to stay overnight, while the refuge's capacity would be worked through.

Amnesty International Australia has already raised concerns about the plan, saying it "will only entrench cycles of disadvantage, poverty, poor health and racism".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would not say whether or not she supported the idea of a curfew, nor comment on suggestions it would unfairly target Aboriginal kids.

"She (Frecklington) hasn't explained how it works," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Are the police staying there (at the youth refuges)? Everyone deserves to be safe in their own home, but in all honesty, we're putting more police.

"Our commitment to the people of the north is more police out there on the streets, doing their job, keeping Townsville and surrounding areas of the north safe."

Originally published as Parents to cop $250 fine if kids break curfew