Steven Miles, what’s so funny? Queensland Premier can’t stop giggling at reporter’s very serious question about youth crime after death of grandmother Vyleen White at shopping centre
The Premier of Queensland is under fire after he appeared to laugh when a reporter asked what his government was doing about youth crime in his state.
Steven Miles made the bizarre response while speaking at the Queensland Media Club on Tuesday.
The state premier addressed the undersupply of affordable housing as he fielded questions from reporters asking about the youth crime crisis.
Vyleen White has become the latest victim after she was allegedly stabbed in front of her granddaughter at a Redbank Plains shopping center on Saturday.
Sky News Brisbane bureau chief Adam Walters asked the prime minister why he did not address the subject in his speech, to which he replied ‘it was a speech about housing’.
But Mr Walters said: ‘The absence of any reference to youth crime in your speech would be noted by the people of those communities’.
‘Come on,’ Mr Miles said, laughing at the reporter for persisting with the question which was off the topic of the housing crisis forum.
His response struck a nerve with everyday Australians with many labeling the response ‘shameless’ and ‘pathetic’.
Mr Miles was forced to publicly address the reaction by posting an update to X, formerly Twitter, strongly denying he was laughing about the serious matter.
Queensland Premier Steven Miles is under fire after nervously laughing when asked at a press conference what his government is doing about youth crime
“No one in Queensland, myself included, is laughing at this tragedy, and it is disrespectful for any newspaper to suggest this,” he wrote.
“A family a community mourns. Sensational headlines and misrepresentations have no place in Queensland this week.’
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan described the Prime Minister’s response as ‘strange and bizarre behaviour’.
“He needs to explain himself, especially as he was part of a government that weakened youth rights,” said Senator Canavan, who is from Rockhampton in Queensland.
‘In 2019 they made it clear that judges should only refuse bail as a last resort and this leaves far too many violent criminals on our streets when they shouldn’t be.
“I don’t know the circumstances of this particular case, but doesn’t that show that the government is not taking the crime issue seriously?” he said.
“They only apply patches when there’s a bit of public commotion and they’re likely to have some kind of response because there will be outrage about this.”
“But it seems like it’s a joke to them and it’s not good enough for Queenslanders.”
It has been revealed that the alleged teenage killer of Ms. Whyte (70) is out on bail for robbery.
Grandma Vyleen Whyte (70) was allegedly stabbed at Redbank Plains shopping centre
The 16-year-old cannot be named for legal reasons.
According to the Australian police, late last year he opposed bail for the accused, who is said to be Ms. stabbed Whyte to steal her 2009 Hyundai Getz.
He was charged with three counts of theft and one count of unlawful use of her vehicle.
Four other boys, aged 15 and 16, who were said to be with him, were charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
The Labor government introduced two reforms to youth bail laws following tragedies involving Kate Leadbetter and Matt Field in 2021 and Emma Lovell in 2022.
The presumption of bail was removed for serious repeat youth offenders and breach of bail penalties, including up to two years in prison, were reintroduced.
Mr Miles said on Tuesday: ‘We are putting more police into the community and that the laws we have in place are the laws the police helped us create,’ he said.
“If we have to do more, we will do more. But nobody can seriously stand up and say they could have prevented it.’