15 Dec SERVICES MAY STAY CUT AS WORKERS IN FEAR OF CRIME
Essential utility workers, such as linesman and electricians, are being hamstrung in their ability to provide emergency repair services in North Queensland as a result of unrelenting youth crime, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said there were growing concerns from emergency utility workers, particularly in Mount Isa, regarding the risk they are exposed to when having to work at night amongst the youth crime that is constantly tearing through the small outback town.
“When you’ve got emergency workers coming into your office telling you they no longer feel safe completing their jobs ‘outside of hours’ you’ve got a real problem,” he said.
“As it stands, these emergency workers are at risk and are operating with the fear that they will become a victim of youth crime as they go about their important work.
“These days, travelling to and from jobs at night in Mount Isa, and many other cities, means you’re travelling alongside criminals.
“There’s no ifs or buts, they’re out and about every single night – there’s stolen cars, break-ins and damage to property. Increasingly, there’s also violence.
“On Monday night in Townsville, there were at least three crash or burnt-out stolen vehicles across the city in a single night.”
Mr Katter said some forms of employment inevitably meant people were exposed to crime-related risks, but being an essential utility worker was not one of them.
“Long story short, if people no longer feel safe completing emergency jobs, we won’t have these emergency utility workers,” he said.
“That burst pipe under your sink will stay burst until morning, your gas stove won’t be fixed until Monday, and the power outage won’t be rectified until tomorrow.
“Those are the issues we as community members are going to be faced with if our emergency utility workers rightfully put their safety first.
“You wouldn’t send your son or daughter, mum or dad, brother or sister, out at night to fend for themselves amongst these reckless acts of crime.
“The effects of youth crime are continuing to grow, and the consequences of this are affecting every element of life in our towns.
“The State Government needs to do better.”