The Queensland Government is under pressure to back mandatory sentencing laws for anyone who assaults an emergency service worker.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has accused the Palaszczuk Government of failing to protect our emergency service workers.
“The LNP took a policy to the 2017 election for mandatory sentences for anyone who seriously assaults an emergency service worker, like an ambulance officer or firefighter,” she said in a statement.
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Ms Frecklington’s comments come after a number of assaults occurred in the state’s south-east.
One incident happened on the Gold Coast, with two Queensland Fire and Emergency Services staff attacked.
Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, agreed with Ms Frecklington that mandatory sentencing should be implemented.
“Our emergency workers are our local heroes and I’d welcome anything to help protect those people,” he said.
“A message to the State Government, increase the penalty, take it out of the judge’s hand and if someone hits a paramedic they go straight to jail.”
However, Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the issue is not as simple as implementing mandatory sentencing.
“I come from a similar background, working as a paramedic, and we have assaults against emergency workers develop over time,” he said.
“Members of the public are starting to behave in a completely inappropriate manner, where they’re assaulting our staff.”
The Minister confirmed they had looked at the LNP’s policy but believe its currently more important to educate Queenslanders on why it’s not appropriate to assault emergency service workers.