Violence should never be tolerated and we all have a right to feel safe and be safe on our streets, buses and trains.
Locals tell me they are concerned about street crime and violence, particularly in view of the recent disturbing violent incidents near the bus station in Maroochydore. Bus users are concerned about safety and for their kids and grandkids and that more people are abusing our public transport by not paying for their ride and other bad behaviour.
I’m concerned that $44 million cut from the State police budget in the last year is having an impact on front line services and I have asked the Queensland Government for more police resources and transport officers to tackle this problem.
The Transport Minister has announced an extra 16 Senior Network Officers for SEQ to crack down on fare evasion and unacceptable behaviour on public transport, but we need to see more of them deployed on the Sunshine Coast and taking a tougher approach on tackling fare evasion and breaking this culture of abuse and disrespect.
We also need more resources to help Police, Youth Justice and other community agencies to work together to better support people impacted by mental health, addiction and welfare issues and to divert young people early from crime and break the cycle.
I will keep pursuing the objective of safe streets and safe homes, working collaboratively with police and community to get a fair dinkum and funded outcome but please report any incidents to police as this will help get the message through as we lobby for funds and changes in how these issues are handled.