By staff writers
Serious juvenile crime has finally hit the sleepy Tablelands town of Atherton in Far North Queensland, set among evergreen pastures and running creeks when last week two Aboriginal youths pulled a 47 year old woman from her sedan, threatened her, stole her purse then drove off in her car to continue their crime spree.
Both are foster kids aged 15 and 16 and they have finally been caught by police after a dramatic car chase near Cairns.
Police said they locked down the tourist town of Kuranda while trying to locate the stolen vehicle and its occupants.
The car left Kuranda and headed down the notorious Kuranda Range Road but the stolen vehicle was stopped at the bottom of the range with road spikes and one of the offenders was apprehended by police. The other was located two days later and both were in custody.
By now these youths could be out of custody awaiting a court appearance only to go on to re-offend again. Similar to the tragic incident in Brisbane where a 17 year old criminal on bail for 50 offences allegedly stole a four wheel drive station wagon which rolled during a chase killing two innocent bystanders.
In Townsville two police officers were seriously injured when they crashed their Hilux four wheel drive patrol car while trying to apprehend brazen, young black car thieves.
Civic leaders from throughout the north have had enough of the Labor Party’s go-soft-on-crime policies which force police and courts to let offenders go free after they have been caught and charged.
This five year old legislative amendment has watered down any notion of curtailing criminal behavior by juveniles. It is why police do not put much effort into catching indigenous and white youth because courts do not impose any meaningful punishment.
The Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2015 has in its very first section:
Under the youth justice principles in schedule 1, it is a principle of this Act that a child should be detained in custody for an offence, whether on arrest or sentence, only as a last resort and for the least time that is justified in the circumstances. 1 2 Clause 3 4 5 Clause 6 7 8 9 10 11 Clause 12 13 Clause 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
After suffering several years of a continuous crime wave in the Far North by Aboriginal youths ranging in age from 10 to 18 years, community and business leaders have called for the establishment of youth relocation sentencing facilities to be modeled on the world-acclaimed Petford Farm facility operated by Geoff and Norma Guest which began in the 70’s until it ceased operation 12 years ago.
Katters Australian Party leader Robbie Katter has remote sentencing legislation prepared and several remote properties in mind to counter the black crime gangs creating havoc across the north.
Located one hour west of Mareeba the Petford Farm facility was originally funded by the State Government during the 80’s at $400 per week for a continual eight participants ordered there by courts.
Now aged 94 Geoff Guest OAM said while the government funded a minimal number of youths his attendance roll would normally show 20 to 25 participants each week.
Most kids, he said, would turn up of their own volition seeking help for substance abuse or alcohol rehabilitation based on a horse adventure. Other kids simply wanted training in a cattle station environment to enable them to find a good job before they went off the rails.
A one-off government grant of $200,000 during the 80’s allowed the facility to employ a school teacher and youth worker to assist him and his wife.
“They eventually left because they said the kids were too dangerous to deal with,” Mr Guest said.
Undeterred he and Norma soldiered on for another 18 years overseeing a total of nearly 4000 graduates from his all-encompassing course in which the WW2 veteran contradicted many norms of psychiatric and medical dogma. It was his unconventional, pharmaceutical-free, successful bush therapies which overturned decades of established medical orthodoxy attested by his outstanding world-first, non-recidivism results recognised at nearly 70 per cent.
He said a proper diet played a major part of his success story.
To this day visitors to the now-idle Petform Farm will not find one grain of sugar, one slice of bread, any flour or vegetable oil.
Wheat, he says, attributed to poor mental health of many of the students. “Soft drinks I found are an extreme health hazard,” he said.
“One can of soft drink a day equals 30 kilos of sugar a year. The younger they are the more susceptible they become.”
“Poor diet, tobacco and marijuana can affect female health for three generations.”
“The majority of these troubled kids are unfit and incapable of working. At Petford Farm I put them into fitness courses to toughen them up in readiness for a job.”
“The bad behaviour and mental health of these young offenders today can be sourced back to a poor diet and a lack of parenting and role models.
“Like a lot of indigenous people I have known for many years I agree there are few suitable ‘elders’ to take kids back to country to share knowledge and help with their problems.”
When asked how to fix this burgeoning health blight on regional communities Mr Guest said there was no silver bullet, but in his experience courts should order parenting courses which include financial budgeting and proper food preparation.
He criticised the delays in the justice system where sentencing of offenders takes months or years after being arrested.
“These young repeat offenders should be sentenced and have a penalty incurred within a week of being arrested otherwise they simply re-offend again,” he said.
“I am deeply offended the government is allowing overseas people to work on farms when there is an abundance of youth available to fill these jobs.”
He supported the re-establishment of community fruit and vegetable gardens and a return to remote sentencing facilities based on his Petford Farm model. Prison for most of these offenders should be a last resort.
Editor: Social media is alive with calls for indigenous Labor MP Cynthia Lui for the first time since the October election, to visit the largest town, Mareeba in her electorate of Cook, to experience the daily terror caused by juvenile blackfellas forcing the elderly to lock themselves in their homes. Break and enters, home invasions and property theft are at an all time high and now car hijacking targeting older people has reviled the Tablelands population. They are after Lui’s blood considering she moved her electorate office from Mareeba last year to Cairns out of her electorate, so she could better look after blackfellas from the Peninsula and Torres Strait. After all she was re-elected by a large proportion of these welfare voters who should not be forced to participate in an election.
Cynthia Lui is a puppet of socialist Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and she is forever beholden to her every whim and fantasy after being appointed as Deputy Speaker and given a golden handshake of $400,000 per annum.