Member for Cairns Michael Healy will be meeting with the executive of Cairns Safer Streets to discuss the implementation of a new strategy to reduce offending by young people in Cairns.
“One of the first things I did upon taking office as Member for Cairns this time last year was to meet with the various agencies involved in dealing with youth crime in our city.
Out of those meetings a strategy called Space and Place Activities for Youth (SPAYC) was developed to divert at-risk youth by encouraging them to take up sport and active recreation” he said.
The SPAYC project has been developed through a formal, collaborative partnership between Cairns Safer Streets, Australian Red Cross, Cairns Regional Council, Centacare and Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association.
“After a few months of discussions I took the project to Brisbane and spoke with Minister for Sport, Mick de Brenni who, to his credit, saw the potential of the scheme immediately and allocated $1 million for the pilot project” Mr Healy said.
“This is a huge win for Cairns and for the most vulnerable in our society who can be so easily led astray if not diverted into more structured diversionary activities,” he said.
“Minister de Brenni deserves a huge thank you, as I initially was only seeking $100,000 per annum for 3 years. The $1 million will enable us to greatly expand the program and reach and I am extremely grateful.
“I am committed to working with our community to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour through physical activity. This has been and ongoing issue in Cairns and this is a Cairns solution to the problem.
“The Palaszczuk Government is changing people’s lift stories in the early chapters, not waiting until an unhappy ending. The earlier we make these targeted interventions across government agencies the better” he said.