Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said $3.2 million in new funding will be provided to the Queensland Police Service to boost frontline investigations into child exploitation.
Ms Palaszczuk said the $3.2 million would be sourced from savings from the Commission of Inquiry into Organised Crime, which came in more than 50% under its budget of $6 million.
“Today I had the opportunity to speak on the phone with the Police Commissioner and meet directly with the Acting Commissioner and other senior officers as we all examine Michael Byrne QC’s report,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
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“It’s fair to say everyone is very keen to work together to protect our kids and ensure anyone involved in child exploitation is locked up.
“As an initial step, we will take the $3.2 million in savings from the Commission of Inquiry and allocate that to the QPS.
“The QPS will now come back to Government outlining how they intend to use these funds.
“The reality is, investigations run by Taskforce Argos require a very specific skill set, which can make resourcing this area difficult.
“I also want to make clear that under my Government, police will retain operational independence. Whatever resources the Commissioner allocates to combating Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, they will keep.
“However, we need to get the balance right. If we ignore Mr Byrne QC’s report, we are not doing everything can to protect Queensland children.
“This is about an additional injection of funds into child exploitation investigations, which the Commission of Inquiry makes clear is required.
“As I have said, this is merely a first step. Myself, the Attorney-General and the Police Minister will look closely at the report’s 43 recommendations, and how we can tackle challenges in other areas like financial crimes and illicit drugs.
“If there’s an opportunity to move quickly on some of those recommendations, we will.
“My Government has zero tolerance for organised crime in all its forms, be it outlaw motorcycle gangs, illicit drugs, financial crimes, or the scourge that is child exploitation.”