Our Opinion

Lindsay Wegener speaks out following heated debate around new youth justice laws


Click here to listen to Steve Austin’s interview of PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener on ABC Drive conducted last night following heated debate in Parliament about new youth justice laws that took place yesterday which will, no doubt, be repeated today.

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  1. Carol Ronken on February 24, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    I have just shared this interview through my social media. I 100% agree with Lindsay. The proposed responses are once again akin to “the ambulance at the bottom of a cliff”. What worries me about the “get tough” on “youth” crime push, seen here in Queensland over the past few weeks, is the lack of focus and discussion around what drives young people to commit offences, what are the causes/precursors and how we can reduce risk factors.
    This is a complex issue that requires a holistic, evidence-based approach, not a reactive response.
    As the 2018 Report on Youth Justice stated: “There is no quick fix and no single solution. Therefore a long term, holistic suite of solutions is required.”

  2. David O'Toole on February 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you Lindsay for your advocacy for young people. It is disappointing that we see knee jerk populist reaction to such complex issues. Hopefully, interviews such as this go someway to educating and informing people about the reality that young people involved in the youth justice system are often victims of poverty and disadvantage themselves, and indeed, often the victims of significantly worse crimes. I understand that we should not accept or excuse offending behavior, but join with you in accepting that we are all responsible for creating the conditions that give rise to it.

  3. Dr Lorraine Muller on February 24, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Much of what you say is very relevant. However, despite a growing body of Indigenous human service workers, including social workers, there voices and views are not evident in the public discourse. This is especially frustrating when CS continues to flout the kinship and retaining community connection of Indigenous kids in care.

    Of greater concern, and you do allude to it re the police union, is the outrageous and extreme racism surrounding the issue of youth crime. In Townsville social media posts regularly call for brutal violence and even many twisted ways to murder the young people (always assumed to be Indigenous). Most alarming is non-elected community leaders, mainstream (mostly non-Indigenous)leaders, are silent. People such as University VCs, Health CEOs, Heads of faculties, senior social workers, senior police, are silent about the racism and calls for kids to be shot, bashed, fed to crocs etc. In one social media post many people justified a woman suggesting she should have run an 8yr old kid down because he was Indigenous and on the side of a street at night.

    BTW, I do wonder if anyone actually reads these posts. Do you Lindsay?

  4. Siyavash Doostkhah on February 24, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Well done Lindsay and team at PeakCare for speaking out and highlighting some of the real issues children and young people are facing. It is really unfortunate that our children have no representation in the government and even worse that our political leaders have abdicated their responsibilities in relation to young people. I agree with most of what you had to say however, I think it is important to note that the Youth Justice Strategy was authored by a previous member of the police force. I have high regards for Bob Atkinson but I do not believe he was suitably qualified for that task. This is evident by some glaring emissions in the Youth Justice Strategy the biggest one was not having ‘prevention’ as one of the key pillars. The issues of poverty, racism and police conduct were also missing. Anyhow I just wanted to thank you for showing leadership and doing what politicians should be doing and that is to deescalate a volatile situation and raise awareness in the community about how we can seriously reduce youth crime and enhance our community safety. At the end of the day these are our children, as you said in the interview, their behaviour reflects structural problems with our society and that is where we should be focusing.

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