Mr HAMILTON (Groom) (13:54): Another week, another terrible crime on Toowoomba’s streets. In today’s Chronicle we have reports of four men forcibly entering a house, stealing a car, going to another house, committing an assault, stealing another car and then, as has become all too common, leading police on a dangerous chase through our streets. This has been happening for a long time now. We are in the midst of a youth crime wave in Queensland.
It was incredible to see in Queensland’s budget last week confirmation of what we know: there has been a reduction in police numbers in Queensland. There are now 72 fewer police officers across Queensland since the last election, despite a whole heap of promises to the contrary. Violent crimes and property crimes are increasing across Queensland. In Toowoomba, as reported in the Chronicle last week, there are now 25 fewer officers on the ground than there were in June of 2015. We’re growing at an extreme rate—we’re absolutely bursting at the seams—and we have fewer cops on the street. It’s very, very clear that Labor’s response in the midst of this crime wave has been to take police off the streets. You wonder why it’s bad? This is who’s to blame.
I want to take this moment to profusely thank the police officers who are out there, who are keeping us safe, who are doing a very, very good job. Since this Labor government has come into power they’ve seen a watering down of the laws that they need, and now they’re seeing a reduction in their numbers. It’s an absolute disgrace. This Queensland Labor government absolutely needs to stand up and do the right thing by the citizens of Queensland.