Queensland youth crime committee collapses amid political bickering as parties clash over media regulation

A political stoush has erupted over the collapse of the bipartisan taskforce that was meant to provide the solutions to Queensland’s youth crime crisis.

The Youth Justice Reform Select Committee was disbanded last night, shortly after 9News broke the story of deep divisions inside it that were stopping its interim report from being tabled.

Chairperson Sandy Bolton, an independent and the only non-Labor or Liberal National MP on the committee, told parliament her position was “literally untenable” due to the divide between the government and opposition representatives.

Voice for Victims march against Queensland's escalating youth crime crisis
The bipartisan taskforce that was meant to provide the solutions to Queensland’s youth crime crisis has collapsed. (Nine)

In turn, the government abolished the committee altogether as Labor and LNP MPs accused each other of derailing the taskforce.

That political stoush has continued today, particularly in regard to one key section of the committee’s draft report.

“Some members consider that greater regulation of traditional news media could assist in preventing the glorification of young offenders, which can encourage their peers to offend,” a committee note in the report states.

The opposition has accused the Labor members of making those comments, which essentially suggest coverage of youth crime be censored.

”The LNP members would not, could not, put their names to a report that was going to gag the media,” MP Laura Gerber said.

However, Premier Steven Miles said there was never any danger of that being adopted by the government.

“No. What I’ve indicated, in fact, is that we provide media with greater access to the courts,” he said.

The Youth Justice Reform Select Committee received more than 200 submissions since it was established in October.

The draft report, which was tabled in parliament after the committee was disbanded, contained 60 recommendations, including appointing more magistrates to children’s courts and reviewing state-funded alternate schooling programs.

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