The daughter of Vyleen White, a grandmother who was fatally stabbed in a Queensland shopping centre carpark, has demanded Premier Steven Miles “step up or step out” as a youth crime crisis grips the state.
On Thursday, Cindy Micallef slammed comments made by the Premier to the media, suggesting the alleged murder of her mother could not have been prevented.
“You know what, I was really glad he said it because I’m like, ‘You’re not the man for the job if you can’t reassure people in the community that this is the utmost priority’,” Ms Micallef said.
Ms Micallef said the Premier laughed off the matter but Mr Miles denied the suggestion and said he was instead laughing at a journalist’s suggestion he should have mentioned youth crime during a speech about housing.
The comments come less than a week after Ms White, 70 was stabbed to death in an underground carpark at Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping Centre in Ipswich.
The grandmother’s Hyundai Getz was allegedly stolen before it was dumped in a residential street 20 minutes later.
A 16-year-old Sudanese refugee has since been charged with murder and it’s been revealed that he was out on bail for armed robbery at the time of the incident.
Four other teenagers have all been charged with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Following reports of an onslaught of verbal and racial abuse directed towards Queensland’s African community, Ms Micallef has called for Queenslanders to remain united.
“My mother loved everybody, and she was a devoted Christian,” she said while taking part in a joint media conference with the Queensland African Communities Council.
“I do not want her death to divide Australians because it had nothing to do with cultural or religious community.
“Let’s seek justice and also find collective and individual solutions to support the young people and families who might be going through the cracks in our system so that no other family can go through this traumatic and painful experience.”
QACC president Beny Bol called for tougher youth justice laws but also for calm within the community.
“This is not about race or religion, we are here because if somebody out there in our community – and I’m talking about the Australian community – and they care, and they are grieving, and they want to see Vyleen’s legacy shine on, you need to join us,” he said.
“We are united, and we want to make sure no other families go through the same pain again.”