Pauline Hanson One Nation Candidate in Cairns, Darrin Griffith has teamed up with Independent
candidates, Yodie Batzke in the seat of Cook and Peter Campion in the seat of Hill, in a “grass roots” bipartisan pact to fight crime in the Far North.
The trio, backed by party leaders, have signed a 12-point State Election Crime Prevention Plan
Candidate Pledge, in which each candidate has committed in the “first 100 days of sitting” to present a proposed “Parent/Guardian Empowerment and Accountability (PGEA) Bill” to the Clerk of the
Queensland Parliament if elected.
The Crime and Justice Action Group was formed by residents in March 2020, when a spate of youth crime plagued the Cairns region, on the back of sweeping changes to the Youth Justice Act by the Palaszczuk Labor government.
“This crime prevention plan is calling for policies and resourcing across 5 priority areas focused on the core responsibility of nurturing, discipline and accountability of children, parents and bureaucrats before they become offenders, and providing a firm deterrent for serious offenders by acknowledging victims of crime”, Mr Griffith said.
CJAG Spokesperson Aaron McLeod said, “Eleven members of the group met with incumbent MP
Michael Healy in his office seeking urgent representation to the Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk, to repeal the Youth Justice Act and focus policy on parenting accountability.”
“Mr Healy defended his government’s legislation in that 1-hour meeting, but due to passionate advocacy by our diverse group of residents, Mr Healy agreed to make a joint public statement supporting the group’s demands for better parent accountability policies”, Mr McLeod alleged.
Instead the Labor government denied their new legislation was a problem. The Police Minister Paul Ryan even going as far as blaming the judiciary and promising to appeal rulings in the court.
A short time later, the government eventually formulated a 5-point plan which Mr McLeod claims was a rehash of existing programs to settle the enraged public in Cairns and Townsville while Mr Healy’s advocacy fell on deaf ears in the government.
Now, the balance of power of the next Queensland Parliament will likely be formed from two seats in the Far North in Cairns and Cook, and three seats of North Queensland in Townsville, Thuringowa and Mundingburra.
Working entirely with volunteer support, the Cairns-based CJAG and Townsville-based One Community, One Standard, who has won the commitment of all candidates except Labor and LNP in Townsville, have worked together on planning and strategy to bring about common-sense changes in response to community’s fears and a strong voice that people are fed up with crime in the North.
“Working closely with advocacy groups such as CJAG is important and I am committed to supporting community driven solutions not political party ideology,” Ms Batzke said.
Here in the Far North, Mr Healy is caught in a close battle between the LNP’s Sam Marino and One Nation candidate Darrin Griffith in the seat of Cairns.
Mr McLeod said, “We had the LNP Leader, Deb Frecklington and shadow ministers for Police and the Attorney General consult with the residents leading up to pre-polling. We wouldn’t disclose private
discussions. But Sam Marino and Linda Cooper even attended meetings and rallies with our members in good spirits.”
Only days out from an election fought around “crime and COVID19” however, the One Nation candidate Darrin Griffith, a local tourism business owner, is the only candidate in the Cairns electorate to commit to the resident group’s 12-point crime prevention plan along with Independents in Cook and Hill.
“It is common sense policy that fits well with One Nation’s stance on youth crime and law and order”, Mr Griffith said
The Independent candidate for Hill and father-in-law of federal politician Barnaby Joyce, Peter Campion said, “It is amazing what a volunteer group can do for free that hundreds of public servants and the major political parties just cannot do.”
CJAG is non-profit association engaged with community, advocating for victims of crime and promoting a non-partisan and apolitical crime prevention plan focused on 5 priority areas including parent
empowerment and accountability