Parliamentary Select Committee

As announced last month in response to recommendations from victims, a Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth Crime was announced in which Sandy was selected as Chair, and in the last sitting all members were announced along with the Terms of Reference (ToR)

This is one of the most complex and traumatic issues impacting Queenslanders, hence obtaining bipartisan agreements and recommendations is key, and Sandy looks forward to working with members from both sides of Chamber, as well advocates, victims and experts over the next 12 months including via the Independent Ministerial Advisory Council (IAMC) and the QLD Victims Commissioner.

A united stance is needed to keep communities safe, whilst reviewing the many contributors to criminal behaviours especially in our children and youth.  We must identify actions needed both now and longer term, to see an end to the types of behaviours Queensland communities can no longer tolerate.

With Sandy’s efforts over the past 4 years for a review of our Parliamentary Committee system, this independently chaired committee (first in 20 years) is an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of creating a space for resolutions.

Once the Committee has fully established, we will update to Noosa 360 and via social media.

Independent Ministerial Advisory Council (IMAC)

Separately to the Parliamentary Select Committee, the Government is calling for applicants to form a new IMAC, also in response to recommendations from victims. This Council will examine crime related issues and provide advice on justice system reform and victim support.

Victims of crime, representatives from the legal sector and peak advocacy bodies, First Nations representatives and expert practitioners are all encouraged to apply. To clarify and avoid any confusion, this Council is separate from the Parliamentary Select Committee above.

Applications will be open until 5pm 20 October. For more information on how to apply, please visit

Strengthening Community Safety Bill/ Parole ‘Question without Notice’

In March 2023, the Queensland Parliament passed the above-mentioned bill. Please see below dot points in relation to.

  • When the Government introduced the bill, which tightened sentencing for young people in the criminal justice system, they acknowledged that it would result in greater incarceration, and given capacity limits in Queensland’s youth justice detention facilities, it would result in more youth held in police watchhouses.
  • We are seeing this with watch houses in Mount Isa, Cairns and Townsville over capacity. For context, Townsville watch house is currently sitting at 178 per cent capacity while Mount Isa is at 219 per cent and Cairns 125 per cent.
  • The Government has responded by transferring 40 prisoners to Southeast Queensland and fast-tracked new facilities at Wacol and Gatton.

With the volume of youth and adult reoffenders to be incarcerated expected to continue to increase as part further denial of bail for greater community safety, the issue of ensuring facility capabilities by providing appropriate accommodations for those eligible for parole Sandy raised in her Parliamentary Debate Speech on this Bill here.

Regarding interim measures until the new facilities at Wacol and Gatton are established, Sandy asked a ‘Question without Notice’ (QWN) to the Queensland Minister for Police in response to submissions from hearings:

Sandy’s QWN:

With 204 prisoners eligible for parole in August 2023 not paroled due to lack of accommodation, what efforts are underway to address this and a shortage of beds whilst facilities at Wacol and Gatton are built? 

The Minister’s response:

I think it is important to firstly highlight that it is conditioned on suitable and appropriate accommodation. This is really important, because when a prisoner is eligible for apply for parole, they have to nominate an address they will be paroled to. Hypothetically, if a DV offender is in custody and they nominate the address of a DV victim as the accommodation they wish to be paroled to, of course that is not suitable and of course that person will not be granted parole because suitable accommodation is not available. Likewise, if you are an offender who offends against a particular cohort of members of our community, it would not be appropriate to parole you to a particular location where there might be a school or other vulnerable cohorts. It is important that, when we are talking about the process, we highlight it is about suitable accommodation and not just accommodation.

That being said, of course there are initiatives and supports in place through the re-entry services this government funds with Queensland Corrective Services to ensure people who are paroled transition to the community with supports. Those supports may be connecting people to external services and supporting those people through accommodation services and other like connected services. The government is very firm in its view that people who offend, who are found by the courts to be responsible for that offending and who are ordered to be detained should be detained. We have very strong laws that have led to more people being incarcerated, and that is what the community wants. They want strong laws and strong consequences for actions. 

We have invested in custodial infrastructure including more bunk beds; we expanded Capricornia Correctional Centre; we reopened the Borallon Training and Correctional Centre; we have a new prison at Lockyer Valley under construction and due to be finished next year; and of course we are investing in other infrastructure investments for youth justice and a youth remand centre which we announced last week. There is a big focus on ensuring people are accountable for their actions, but there is also a big focus on community safety and ensuring that when grants of parole are made the community is protected from offenders.

A copy of the QWN and the answer can also read in the official Parliamentary records (Hansard) here.

Increased Payments for Victims

On Tuesday 11 October 2023, the Queensland Government announced increases in payments to victims of crime and assistance for domestic and family violence victims. The following is an extract of the announcement from Hansard which may also be viewed here.

The impacts of crime go well beyond any property loss or damage. The trauma can live with an individual, their family and their community for life. That is why our government announced our plan to increase support for victims of crime, boosting the hands-on community recovery people need. We have listened. I want to thank the ministers who have been personally involved in meeting with a number of organisations, and I want to thank people who have taken the time to meet with me. 

We know that government needs to do more and that victims need to be front and centre. Later today the police minister will introduce amendments to reflect this important uplift into the Victims of Crime Assistance Act. We are putting $185 million towards resetting the upper cap for financial assistance from $75,000 to $120,000 and increasing the range of payments available for offences, including funeral expenses and distress payments. Additionally, we are investing $18 million to establish our Victims’ Commissioner office. Victims must be front and centre when we are talking about these very complex issues. 

Today I can announce that our government is also increasing payments to victims of domestic and family violence. Under proposed changes that will be introduced today, special assistance payments for domestic and family violence victims will increase from $1,000 to $9,000. Sometimes these families are escaping violent situations with just the clothes on their backs, so we must do whatever we can to make life a lot better for these women and their children.

Increased funding for Youth Early Intervention Program

The Government has also announced $11.5 million in funding for not for profits, schools to support programs which focus on support and intervention with at risk youth. Their media release can be viewed here.

$11.5 million in funding for not-for-profit organisation BullyProof Australia (co-founded by boxing legend Jeff Horn) to deliver AMAYDA Resilience Program over 4 years with 40 Queensland schools already participating with further program expansion planned.

The program focuses on early intervention and support for at-risk young people to prevent youth offending. In addition, ARP will now form part of the QPS’ School Support Officer program, with the expansion planned to focus on schools in key locations including Cairns, Townsville, Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

Vehicle Immobiliser Subsidy Trial

As announced previously, $10 million in funding for an Engine Immobiliser Subsidy Trial for residents in Mt Isa, Cairns and Townsville has been under way. The original media release is available in full here.

How it works

Residents in the trial locations (Cairns, Townsville and Mt Isa) will be able to apply online for a $500 voucher towards the supply and installation of an engine immobiliser. The customers will present the voucher to a service provider who has been registered and approved as part of this trial.

This qualified installer will install an approved immobiliser device selected by the customer as appropriate to their vehicle. The customer will use their voucher towards the cost and the installer will redeem that voucher after the installation, using the same online platform they used to register as a service provider for this Trial. Service providers will be required to upload evidence of installation.

Who is eligible for vouchers

To be eligible for a voucher, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Principal place of residence for the eligible vehicle is within the trial zone (postcode restrictions apply)
    • Cairns: Trial zone postcodes: 4865, 4868, 4869, 4870, 4878, 4879
    • Mt Isa: Trial zone postcodes: 4825
    • Townsville: Trial zone postcodes: 4810, 4811, 4812, 4814, 4815, 4817, 4818
  • Applicants must be the registered operator of an eligible vehicle registered in Queensland, with DTMR classifications of:
    • vehicle types – PCAR & LCOM
    • registration status – current
    • purpose of use – private, commercial, farming

Manual allocation of vouchers

In certain circumstances, members of the public who request a voucher directly from the QPS may be allocated a voucher manually by approved QPS officers known as referral agents. Eligibility and procedural requirements will apply. Circumstances may include:

  • Eligible residents that are not able to apply for the voucher online due to lack of access to suitable technology
  • Eligible residents that are not able to apply for the voucher online due to suppressed data on DTMR systems.
  • Selected victims of crime
  • Other extenuating circumstances as deemed appropriate by QPS program leads.

The Queensland Minister for Police also said the following in the latest Parliament sitting regarding with the full response available here.

The engine immobiliser trial is progressing extremely well in the three communities identified by the Queensland Police Service as the appropriate trial sites. So far, over 11,000 vehicle owners in Cairns, Townsville and Mount Isa have obtained vouchers to have a secondary engine immobiliser fitted to their vehicles. It is encouraging also that we are hearing from industry representatives and from police that they cannot identify a Queensland example of a vehicle fitted with a secondary immobiliser being stolen. Queensland police are also supporting the rollout of the technology by engaging in community expos, like the one in Townsville over the weekend, to provide information about how local residents can obtain the voucher. 

The secondary immobiliser technology is sophisticated technology. The essence is that even if someone steals the car keys to a vehicle they still cannot start it without disengaging the secondary engine immobiliser. This trial could have very significant implications for our nation. Our ambition is that the trial will provide us with the evidence to take to the federal government and prosecute the case for a requirement that all vehicles coming into Australia be required under the Australian Design Rules to have a secondary immobiliser fitted.

Operation Victor Unison

In the same speech as above, the Minister also updated on Operation Victor Unison, which was enacted on 1 March, in response to specific areas experiencing heightened youth crime.

Another very significant government supported initiative that is proving to be very effective is Operation Victor Unison. The government provided the Queensland Police Service with additional funding so that, right across the state, police have the resources to conduct extreme high-visibility police patrols. The extra patrols as part of Operation Victor Unison are over and above normal calls for service and everyday policing operations. Officers are engaging with young people in public spaces, patrolling businesses and residential areas, conducting bail checks, interacting with the community, undertaking wanding operations and taking enforcement action against those committing offences. Police are also deploying mobile police beats in communities across Queensland where officers base themselves and engage with the community.

The Queensland Police Service has advised me that so far under Operation Victor Unison they have conducted nearly 100,000 extreme high-visibility community patrol activities. More than 4,000 adult offenders have been charged with nearly 7,000 offences and more than 2,000 young offenders have been charged with more than 4,000 offences as a result of these Operation Victor Unison enforcement activities. The boots-on-the-ground operation is providing more opportunities for police to engage with the community. It is also disrupting and preventing crime, engaging with young people and providing the supports at-risk youths need to avoid or break the cycle of offending. Community safety is paramount, and I wish to commend the Queensland Police Service for its dedicated efforts in respect of the engine immobiliser trial and its relentless efforts as part of Operation Victor Unison.

Further information is available at with this initiative proposed to conclude 30 June 2024, unless extended.

Further information

To view our previous Noosa 360 update on Youth Crime/ Recidivism, please visit

For information on Policing in the Noosa State Electorate, please visit our Noosa 360 at