Palaszczuk defends Queensland's youth crime laws

·2-min read

Queensland has brought in "the toughest laws in Australia" amid rising community concerns over youth crime but they need time to work, the premier says.

Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended the state's response to the youth crime crisis after three people were killed in a collision this week involving a stolen Mercedes allegedly driven by a 13-year-old boy in Maryborough.

The teenager has faced court charged with three counts of dangerous driving causing death, but critics claim authorities have "blood on their hands" after the tragedy.

The family of Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter, killed by a teenage driver in 2021, fear more lives will be lost.

"The premier and the lawmakers of the state have more blood on their hands now because nothing was done earlier," Matthew's father Russell Field said on Tuesday.

"Another accident like this will happen again, again and again. What's got to happen for them to change something and get these kids to understand what they can and can't do?"

The premier defended the government response by toughening youth crime laws, but the legislation needed time to work.

"Both sides of politics voted for these stronger laws. They are the strongest laws in Australia that have been put in place," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"They will take time to come into effect ... we are throwing a lot of money at this as well - over $1.3 billion dollars.

"We're building more youth detention centres across the state; we are putting more money into early intervention and prevention."

Liberal National leader David Crisafulli said Queenslanders continued to demand reform on youth justice.

"This matters to Queenslanders, and they want to see consequences for actions," Mr Crisafulli said.

"They want to see the unshackling of the judiciary and the removal of things like detention as a last resort."