Record youth justice budget puts community safety first

Published Tuesday, 13 June, 2023 at 03:10 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development and Minister for Youth Justice
The Honourable Di Farmer

  • The Queensland government is providing $446.4 million in whole of government funding over five years to support community safety, tackle the complex causes of youth crime and help boost police resources
  • This includes extra funding of $189.5 million over five years to the Department of Youth Justice.
  • The overall budget for 2023-24 for the Department of Youth Justice is a record $396.5 million.
  • Package includes funding for Youth Co-responder Teams, Intensive Case Management, Specialist Youth Crime Rapid Response Squad and On Country programs.
  • From 2015 to 2023-24, the government has invested $1.4 billion in whole-of-government funding for youth justice Initiatives.

The Queensland Government is providing $446.4 million in whole-of-government funding over five years to focus on community safety, tackle the complex causes of youth crime and help boost police resources.

This year’s 2023-24 State Budget supports the Queensland Government’s continued reforms of the youth justice system to put community safety first and steer young people away from offending.

A wide range of intervention and diversionary programs will receive increased funding of $189.5 million over five years to complement the tough new laws introduced earlier this year that target serious repeat youth offenders.

This includes funding for:

  • extending and expanding Youth Co-responder Teams (including new teams for Toowoomba, Brisbane South, Ipswich, Mount Isa and the Fraser Coast) made up of police and youth justice workers who engage with young people to deter offending— $78.1 million over four years
  • extending and expanding the Intensive Bail Initiative for repeat offenders with complex needs — $25.4 million over four years
  • fast Track Sentencing pilot program to finalise Children’s Court matters faster so young people spend less time on remand — $2.8 million over four years
  • grassroots early intervention programs, including $4.2 million for The Street University Townsville, and $850,000 over two years for the shopping precincts crime prevention program
  • extending and expanding the Early Action Groups already operating in Townville to Cairns and Mount Isa to provide a whole-of-government response to the needs of identified at-risk young people — $1.8 million over two years
  • continuing diversion programs to divert young people away from the criminal justice system — $29.4 million over four years
  • empowering communities to develop local solutions to youth crime through community-based projects — $5 million over two years
  • continuing the Townsville High Risk Youth Court — $2.7 million over two years
  • extending and expanding Intensive Case Management by case managers who work to address issues that contribute to chronic juvenile offending — $30.1 million over four years
  • new Specialist Youth Crime Rapid Response Squad involving police and youth justice workers to target high-risk offending — $5 million over three years for youth justice involvement
  • continuing a trial of On Country programs in Cairns, Mount Isa and Townsville to provide culture-based rehabilitation – $4.2 million over two years.


Quotes attributable to the Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Annastacia Palaszczuk

“Our investment of $1.4 billion in youth justice initiatives since 2015 is proof of that.

“In line with that the 2023-24 Youth Justice services’ overall budget is a record $396.5 million and there is an extra $189.5 million on the table for our large suite of intervention and diversionary programs.

“In addition to the extra $189.5 million we will start construction of a new youth detention centre at the Woodford Correctional Precinct and will secure a site for a new youth detention centre near Cairns.

“This is all part of our plan to hold serious repeat offenders to account, tackle the complex causes of crime and better support victims of crime.”

Quotes attributable to the Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick

“The 2023-24 State Budget reflects the importance this government places on Youth Justice and getting outcomes that meet community expectations.

“At the very heart of this budget is the government’s commitment to make our communities safer and reduce youth crime.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Justice Di Farmer:

“We are firmly focused on delivering early intervention and diversionary programs to prevent young people from offending in the first place, as well as programs to stop reoffending.

“We will continue to fund programs and services where the evidence shows they are effective in reducing reoffending and increasing community safety.

“This is why we are expanding and extending initiatives such as our Co-responder Teams and Intensive Case Management, as well as funding new initiatives to help break the cycle of youth crime.

“Importantly, this budget means additional interventions and diversionary programs for many areas in regional Queensland.

“Establishing two new therapeutic youth detention centres remains a priority in this budget.

“Both centres will include design elements that aim to support rehabilitation, including small accommodation units, multi-purpose areas for education and training, and spaces for cultural connection.”