The Honourable Anna Bligh
Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport
The Honourable Judy Spence
Government To Act On Youth Violence
The Honourable Anna Bligh
Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport
The Honourable Judy Spence
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Government To Act On Youth ViolenceThe Bligh Government will make sweeping changes to the Liquor Act in Queensland to crack down on the secondary supply of alcohol to young people by adults, Premier Anna Bligh announced today.
Ms Bligh was responding to the final report of the Youth Violence Taskforce.
The report details a comprehensive list of recommendations aimed at reducing the prevalence of youth violence in Queensland.
“Overwhelmingly Queensland parents are responsible for monitoring their teenagers,” Ms Bligh said.
“However those parents and other adults who recklessly provide kids with excessive amounts of alcohol and then fail to supervise them will face stiff penalties.
“Until now the Government has focused on the strict regulation of liquor at the point of sale – now we are proposing to take that a step further and ensure that it’s no longer acceptable for minors to rely on adults to purchase their drinks for them.
“There is a need to legislate in relation to secondary supply to send a clear message to parents, older friends and siblings about the inherent risks of supplying alcohol to minors.”
Ms Bligh said the proposed new laws will be part of broader changes to the Liquor Act to be introduced next year.
She said in response to the recommendations of the Taskforce the Government would also undertake an advertising campaign over the Christmas/New Year period to highlight the fact that ‘one punch can kill’,” she said.
“The key messages will be – don’t drink to excess, remember one punch can kill, be brave – walk away and look after your mates.
“If young people can take all these messages on board, we believe we can ensure a safer party environment for all.”
Ms Bligh said Government would consider all the recommendations of the Taskforce and formulate a multi-agency response.
“Youth Violence is an issue that affects every Queenslander and one this Government is committed to addressing,” Ms Bligh said.
“For the past 12 months, the Youth Violence Taskforce has worked cooperatively with representatives from across the Queensland community, to produce a list of practical and achievable recommendations on how to combat the violence that is ruining young lives,” Ms Bligh said.
“The Taskforce held a number of youth forums around Queensland and listened to young people about their views on the problem of youth violence and their ideas for solutions.
“The Taskforce has considered over 70 public submissions including those from the general public, Government and non-Government organisations and extensive literature and websites from Australia and around the world.
“These recommendations are the first steps towards addressing the prevalence of youth violence and I am confident they will assist in the protection of our young people in the future.
“I would like to thank the Taskforce for their work, on what are some very complicated issues.
”I would especially like to thank Paul Stanley for making such a valuable contribution during this difficult time for his family.”
Ms Spence said it comes as no surprise that the Youth Violence Taskforce has observed strong links between alcohol consumption and youth violence.
“This is an area the whole community needs to unite on – to send the message enough is enough, so we don’t allow our young people to become just another statistic – arrested, charged or killed,” Ms Spence said.
Ms Spence said the Taskforce’s recommendations, are aimed at addressing the need for further education and community responsibility around youth violence.
“It is a disturbing fact that young people between 15 and 19 years of age are the most likely group to be the victims of violence, and are also the most likely perpetrators,” Ms Spence said.
“In its efforts to address this alarming statistic, we have compiled recommendations regarding alcohol consumption and supply among youth and have already provided these recommendations to the Liquor Act Review for consideration.
“Other recommendations are aimed at improving community education among young people and adults, on the reality of youth violence and its consequences"
Paul Stanley, member of the Taskforce and the father of 15-year-old Matthew Stanley who died in September last year after an assault outside a party at Alexandra Hills said it was pleasing to see a positive outcome out of Matthew’s death.
“The creation of the Youth Violence Taskforce has increased community awareness and ownership of the issue and in conjunction with Government we can make a difference” Mr Stanley said.
”It’s great to see that after 12 months of hard work, the Youth Violence Taskforce has been able to put forward a report to the Queensland Government,” Mr Stanley said.
Key recommendations from the Youth Violence Task Force include:
Queensland Government revisit the current legislative environment in relation to the secondary supply of alcohol to young people by adults, particularly their parents and that the government legislate to prohibit the supply of alcohol to minors in such quantity or circumstances where harm or a high risk of harm to a minor may eventuate.
Queensland Government fund and deliver a highly visible community education and social marketing campaign over the next 5 – 10 years, specifically targeting young people and their parents in purpose built and wide ranging flexible delivery formats, with a view to creating and maintaining a safe drinking culture.
Sources for revenue to deliver education campaigns are investigated including from the liquor and hospitality industry.
Community based education programs should be funded for delivery across Queensland communities with a view to engaging youth, particularly school leavers, in the impact and effect of high risk drinking practices, including the dangers of high alcohol volume products.
Government support an anti-violence advertising campaign focused on highlighting the consequences of violence and the choices available to manage conflict without violence, and targeted specifically at Generation Y audience (ages 12-27) through emerging communication mediums.
The Queensland Police Service in consultation with the Department of Education, Training and the Arts utilise School Based Police Officers and QPS Operational Skills Training Officers to develop and trial for Secondary school students an educational program related to the recognition of warning signs, use of verbal communication skills and avoidance options to diffuse potentially dangerous and violent situations.
The extension and ongoing promotion of the Queensland Police Service Party Safe initiative to raise awareness of safer party practices.
The Department of Education, Training and the Arts investigate a range of social and emotional learning packages with a view to having all Queensland State schools deliver a package from prep through to year 12 to encourage positive behaviour and social skills in children and young people.
Government support the Department of Education, Training and the Arts School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) approach to building responsible student behaviour.
Government support the Department of Education, Training and the Arts’ Act Smart Be Safe website campaign to provide information and proactive strategies to schools, students and parents to assist with addressing issues of youth violence.
The 2009 Crime Stoppers Youth Challenge Queensland target youth violence prevention.
Queensland Government research, design and develop a holistic framework for identifying, targeting and reducing risky behaviour and promoting positive support systems and messages about youth.
A youth engagement strategy that supports a series of Youth Forums for young people aged 15 – 17 yrs on issues affecting youth to inform Government of current trends and changes in youth culture and encourage empowerment, ownership and responsibility of young people.
Government supports the further expansion of the ‘Coordinated Response to Young People At Risk’ (CRYPAR) program, the Triple P initiative and the Safe Youth – Safe Communities initiative to provide early intervention and support for ‘at risk’ youth and families in crisis.
Government give further consideration of evidence based strategies for multiple risk children and youth.
Establishment of an ongoing Ministerial Advisory Committee on Youth Violence to advise Government on emerging youth trends and culture issues in relation to violence.
The Taskforce Report and recommendations are available on www.police.qld.gov.au
Further inquiries: Premiers Office (07) 3224 4500
Nicola Hazell (07) 3239 6172
YOUTH VIOLENCE TASKFORCE MEMBERSHIP
• Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport, Ms Judy Spence MP (Chair).
• Minister for Communities, Disability Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Multicultural Affairs, Seniors and Youth, Ms Lindy Nelson-Carr MP (Deputy Chair).
• Commissioner of Police, Mr Bob Atkinson APM.
• Mr Nathan Appo, First Contact.
• Dr William Bor, Director, Kids in Mind Research: Mater Centre for Service Research in Mental Health.
• Mr Adam Barnes, Youth and Family Support.
• Ms Jonty Bush, CEO, Homicide Victims Support Group.
• Mr Kevin Charlesworth, Vice-President, Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Association.
• Ms Leanne Clare SC, Director of Public Prosecutions.
• Mr Neville Coventry, Co-Visions Australia.
• Ms Jenny Cranston, Deputy Director General, Education, Department of Education, Training and the Arts.
• Ms Corelle Davies, Child Safety Director, Queensland Health.
• Dr Rebecca Denning, Manager, Criminal Justice Research, Department of Premier and Cabinet.
• Mr Siyavash Doostkhah, Director, Youth Affairs Network of Qld (YANQ).
• Ms Faiza El-Higzi, President of the Al-Nisa' Youth Group Inc.
• Mr Tagipo Faanana, Pacific Islander Community Elder.
• Ms Jayde Fuller, Youth Justice and former president Queensland Youth Council.
• Mr Mark Gladman, Chaplain at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre.
• Mr Steve Maguire, Executive Director, Multicultural Affairs.
• Professor Paul Mazerolle, Professor of Criminology, Griffith University and Director of the Griffith University Violence Research Program.
• Ms Jane Moynihan, Director, Law and Justice Policy, Department of Premier and Cabinet.
• Pastor Andrew Oyet, Baptist Pastor and President of seven African churches, who works closely with Sudanese youth.
• Mr Steve Renouf, Ambassador for Indigenous Sport, DLGPSR.
• Mr Terry Ryan, Director, Strategic Policy, Justice and Attorney-General.
• Ms Tala Schultz, Pacific Islander Representative.
• Mr Paul Stanley, Matthew Stanley Foundation.
• Mr Matthew Swift, Operations Manager, YMCA Brisbane.
• Mr Michael Tansky, Director, Office for Youth, Department of Communities.
• Mr Tuan Tran, Assistant President of the Queensland Vietnamese Community Association.
• Ms Patrea Walton, Assistant Director General, Student Services, Department of Education, Training and the Arts.
• Mr Chris Watters, Executive Director, Liquor Licensing, DTFTWID.
• Mr Phil Weightman MP, Member for Cleveland.