Secret government correspondence exposes frantic policy scramble and attempts to control the youth crime “storyline”


Shocking Government emails and text messages, publicly released by the LNP to Queenslanders for the first time, have exposed the chaos and crisis of the Palaszczuk Labor Government as they scrambled to develop a youth crime policy.

The LNP is releasing the documents for Queenslanders to read for themselves.

The secret Right to Information documents reveal the Government’s youth crime response was a political ploy cobbled-together at the last minute, despite Premier Palaszczuk claiming it wasn’t a “knee-jerk” response.

The pages of internal correspondence paint a picture of the Premier’s office desperately attempting to stage-manage media and override police requests, while chaotically rushing to respond to a growing crime crisis.

The alarming revelations include:

  • Premier Palaszczuk’s office desperately attempted to manage the fall-out of the youth crime crisis, taking extraordinary steps to choreograph the actions and words of Ministers to manage media coverage.
  • Advisors were changing major policy less than 15 minutes before the Premier’s media conference to announce her Government’s youth crime crisis response started, despite having been “pushed back” that morning.
  • The Premier’s office muscled-in on a Police news conference about a murder investigation, overriding Police requests, to promote their own youth crime agenda.
  • There was confusion about the legality of a signature policy in the Government’s youth crime response.
  • Introducing “breach of bail” as an offence was not part of the Palaszczuk Government’s youth crime response, and the Government actively sought to discredit it, despite later back-flipping to copy the LNP’s policy word for word.
  • In the days following the Boxing Day tragedy in North Lakes, while her Government was scrambling to develop a response to the youth crime crisis, the Premier was attending the Woodford Folk Festival.
  • The Palaszczuk Government was more focused on finalising “LNP attack lines”, than formulating its policy response to the complex youth crime crisis.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said the documents provided an alarming insight into the chaos within the Palaszczuk Government after nearly a decade in power.

“Queenslanders will be shocked by the jaw-dropping chaos of the Palaszczuk Government while communities were waiting for leadership from the Premier,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“The Premier’s announcement was cobbled-together to create a media band-aid instead of delivering the genuine reforms Queenslanders were crying out for.    

“It’s clear the State Government was more interested in controlling the media storyline, rather than controlling youth crime.”

Shadow Attorney-General Tim Nicholls said it was clear the tired, third-term government was running on empty.

“For the Palaszczuk Labor Government to be scrambling on a key policy just 15 minutes before the Premier’s media announcement stinks of an administration that is only concerned about appearances,” Mr Nicholls said.

“The Premier should come clean to Queenslanders and admit her so-called ‘tough’ crime laws are nothing more than a cobbled-together thought-bubble, designed purely for her media management.

“It’s no surprise the Palaszczuk Labor Government adopted the LNP’s breach of bail policy word for word at the last minute, when they had clearly run out of ideas to fix the youth crime crisis they created.”

Shadow Minister for Police Dale Last said Queenslanders would be disgusted to learn the Palaszczuk Labor Government had used a horrible tragedy for their own personal gain.

“For the Premier’s department to direct a murder investigation like it was their own media stage show is abhorrent,” Mr Last said.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government had no shame muscling-in on a police media briefing to promote themselves, even after police said they did not want the Minister there.

“Our frontline police work hard to keep Queenslanders safe and they just want to get on with their job.

“If the Palaszczuk Labor Government doesn’t respect the independence of Queensland Police, what hope does the community have that the Government respects them.”


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