The Greens Bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years old and transfer 10-13 year olds out of prisons and watch houses has been voted down in Queensland Parliament.
All Labor Government MPs except for the responding Attorney-General declined to speak on the bill or why they opposed it. All LNP, KAP and One Nation MPs voted against the bill.
Independent MP for Noosa Sandy Bolton voted for the bill.
Queensland Greens spokesperson for Justice Michael Berkman:
“Labor has voted with the LNP, One Nation and the Katters to keep children as young as 10 years old in prison.
“In a last-minute show of cowardice, 51 of the 52 Labor MPs didn’t even have the guts to explain their position.
“This government is treating this as a question of politics rather than one of children’s lives.
“Their decision contradicts UN recommendations, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, medical evidence and the views of 300+ submitters on the Bill including the Queensland Human Rights Commission, Office of the Public Guardian, Queensland Council of Social Services, Change the Record and Amnesty International.
“The government’s refusal to raise the age to at least 14 will mean even higher First Nations incarceration rates, more human rights violations by the state, and more children reoffending because they’re not offered age-appropriate services outside of the criminal legal system.”