LNP vows ‘adult crime, adult time’ for young offenders

William Ton and Holly Hales |

LNP leader David Crisafulli has promised to to clamp down on youth crime if he wins government.
LNP leader David Crisafulli has promised to to clamp down on youth crime if he wins government.

Juveniles convicted of serious crimes will be treated as harshly as adult offenders in Queensland, under a major LNP pre-election promise.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli addressed the party faithful at the annual LNP state convention on Sunday and spruiked his plans for government, 111 days out from the election on October 26.

He evaded any mention of the federal party’s nuclear energy plans to instead focus on tougher punishment for youths who commit crimes.

Under his plan, youths found guilty of crimes such as murder, manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and dangerous operation and unlawful use of a motor vehicle would be sentenced as adults.

“If you make the choice to commit adult crimes, you should know we have made the choice to ensure there are consequences for that behaviour,” Mr Crisafulli told the convention in Brisbane.

“We will restore consequences for actions for young criminals – adult crime, adult time.”

David Crisafulli (left), Leader of the QLD LNP
David Crisafulli outlined a policy to support young offenders once they are released. (Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS)

The Labor government’s management of youth justice and crime has been in the spotlight following a serious of violent incidents involving young people, fanning perceptions youth crime is rising across the state.

However, the LNP leader’s plan could prove controversial amongst legal and children’s rights groups.

Mr Crisafulli said the state government was “cuddling young criminals” and if he became premier the LNP would fund individual 12-month post-release plans to keep young offenders on the straight and narrow.

“We can’t just release a young offender into society,” he said.

“We’ll partner with the community sector to work with young people in detention, in partnership with their youth justice caseworker, to develop a relationship which can be maintained when they are released.

“That will be an intensive post release supervision to keep them on the straight and narrow.”

According to an Australia Bureau of Statistics crime report published in February, there were almost 11,000 offenders aged 10 to 17 in the state in 2022/23, up six per cent from the year before.

The most common offences were acts intended to cause injury (23 per cent of the total) and theft (17 per cent).

Premier Steven Miles slapped down the proposal as “just another slick slogan” from Mr Crisafulli. 

“It’s all we ever see from him – slogans, no substance,” Mr Miles told reporters.

“The fact is that we want to intervene early and prevent crimes before they occur, and that’s why we have a comprehensive community safety program.”

In health, the LNP leader promised to provide live  hospital data within 100 days, if the opposition wins government, after federal coalition Leader Peter Dutton criticised Labor’s record on services at the convention on Saturday.

“Four years ago, the term ambulance ramping didn’t really register with the Queensland public, and yet today, ambulance ramping is at a record 45 per cent,” Mr Dutton said.

The Liberal leader endorsed Mr Crisafulli as a thoughtful and practical leader who had a demonstrated plan to “end Queenslanders’ despair” and revitalise the state.

A general view of the convention.
The Queensland LNP convention opened on Friday and ended on Sunday. (Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS)

“The LNP’s policies are not only practical, they offer hope for Queenslanders that better times are ahead,” Mr Dutton said.

“We can achieve government because they respect a leader who has not only demonstrated a plan to end their despair, but a leader who has a vision to revitalise Queensland.”

Mr Dutton declared the coalition was in a strong position to win government at state and federal levels but one issue the leaders clash on is his new policy to build reactors to supply nuclear energy.

Mr Crisafulli has repeatedly said nuclear energy isn’t part of his plan, despite the federal coalition’s promotion of the technology.

In Queensland, nuclear reactors are banned under the Nuclear Facilities Prohibition Act 2007, which forbids the construction and operation of reactors and other facilities in the nuclear fuel cycle.

AAP