Peter Dutton unloads on Queensland Premier Steven Miles as ‘not fit’ to lead after video emerged of him giggling at question about youth crime problem
Federal Liberal Leader Peter Dutton has branded Steven Miles ‘not fit for the job’ after the Queensland Premier laughed off a question about the state’s youth crime crisis.
Mr Miles was heavily criticized for his laugh, just days after the high-profile murder of a 70-year-old woman in front of her granddaughter at a shopping centre.
A 16-year-old youth has been charged with murder against police advice, after being granted bail on a previous offence.
Mr Dutton said Queenslanders were facing a serious crime endemic that called for a leader who could “stand up” and “provide support”.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has questioned Steven Miles’ suitability for the job of Queensland Premier
“This is one of the most emotive and serious issues in Queensland at the moment,” Mr Dutton told 2GB.
“And if the Premier in the first instance does not have the ability to conduct himself with decency and dignity and respect, then he is not fit for the job.”
Facing a barrage of criticism, Mr Miles said he had been misrepresented, had not laughed off the grandmother’s murder, and said suggestions he had been ‘respectful’.
“No one in Queensland, myself included, is laughing at this tragedy,” Mr Miles wrote in an X post.
“A family and a community are grieving. Sensational headlines and misrepresentations have no place in Queensland this week.’
Unconvincingly, Mr. Dutton doubled down on his attack on the prime minister, accusing him of fabricating an excuse to cover his tracks.
Mr Miles chuckled when asked a question about Queensland’s youth crime and a summer booked by murders
“It compounded his problem and what made his position now untenable is that he made up this story that he actually wasn’t laughing at,” Mr Dutton said.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers earlier said Queensland had a ‘bail problem’ and a ‘judge problem’, while claiming the judiciary was ‘out of touch’.
The Queensland Police Union is calling for ankle bracelets and deportation to be considered as a series of new powers to tackle the state’s worsening youth crime crisis.
“These latte-sipping judges who live in wealthy inner-city Brisbane suburbs have no connection to the average Queenslander,” Mr Leavers said.
‘So this is a start. We must hold them accountable now. Bail is a privilege, not a right.’
He argued an ankle bracelet was a fair trade-off because he was given the privilege of serving time in the community rather than behind bars.
Grandma Vyleen White was allegedly fatally stabbed by five youths at a shopping center in Ipswich on Saturday.
Mr Leavers went on to claim that the rights of the offender were too often prioritized over the victim, and criticized judges for stopping media coverage of court cases to ease the discomfort of offenders.
‘I’m sorry, but what about a 70-year-old lady who was killed while her six-year-old granddaughter was there? Where are her rights and the rights of the family?’ he said.
The uproar comes after Acting Magistrate Robert Turra barred reporters from covering a trial into the alleged murder of grandmother Vyleen White, arguing that the media’s presence in court could be ‘detrimental’ to the 16-year-old boy from be charged with the crime.
The 70-year-old was allegedly stabbed to death at the Redbank Plains shopping center in Ipswich on Saturday.
Police have charged five children in connection with the alleged attack, including a 16-year-old Bellbird Park boy who has been charged with murder.
Mr Miles agreed that magistrates had been too cautious when they prevented reporters from covering high-profile cases, suggesting it had hampered proper ‘scrutiny’ of the court process.
“Magistrates err too much on the side of not allowing journalists in,” he told the Queensland Media Club on Tuesday.
Mr Miles also proposed deportation for foreign visitors who have committed serious crimes and have completed their prison terms.
‘No more molycoddling these people and telling them they have rights. Well, they lose their rights when they commit serious crimes,’ he said.
“I know it’s extreme, but we have real problems and we have to deal with a generation where we have problems. But I will say this, the police and the government cannot be the parents of every child in this state.
“We actually need our parents to do their jobs.”