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Queensland MPs debate controversial youth crime laws

Controversial youth crime changes are a step closer to coming into law in Queensland as debate begins in state parliament.

Human rights watchdogs, legal groups, social service providers, charities and advocates have condemned the bill for the lack of evidence in support of measures that override the state's Human Rights Act.

Changes include making it a crime for a child to breach their bail conditions, and a new serious repeat offenders declaration for children who continue to commit crimes.

Police Minister Mark Ryan acknowledged the concern of some experts that children may breach bail in circumstances outside their control, or because they don't understand the conditions.

He pointed to government funding for diversion and rehabilitation measures to assist young people, and review mechanisms to challenge bail conditions that may be too onerous.

The laws will likely see more children behind bars for longer, but Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard says the state's detention centres are up to it.

There has been a reduction in the number of young people in police watch houses, and the government is looking at "interim options" should they be required, she told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr Ryan also acknowledged concerns about delays in criminal proceedings that mean children spend more time on remand.

A fast-track sentencing program in Brisbane, Townsville, Southport and Cairns aims to reduce the amount of time children spend on remand, and improve access to rehabilitation programs.

The Liberal-National opposition wants to see the measures go further by removing detention as a last-resort clause from the state's Youth Justice Act.

Opposition police spokesman Dale Last said the "government cannot have it both ways" on youth crime.

"If community safety comes first ... you must unshackle the judiciary and let them do their job," he told parliament on Tuesday.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman pointed to the serious repeat offenders declaration, which means "tougher sentencing principles to protect community safety must be applied".

A parliamentary committee made up of Labor and Liberal-National politicians recommended the bill be passed, saying it strikes an "appropriate balance" between rights for children and community safety.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday confirmed the government would accept a committee recommendation to review victims of crime provisions, potentially improving access to financial support.

Further changes to remove the "voluntary nature" of youth justice conferencing, and forcing offenders to meet their victims were also flagged by the committee report.

The laws are expected to pass this week.