‘Change will happen’: MPs face up to community anger

 

TOWNSVILLE'S MPs have promised the community that "change will happen" after an outpouring of anger and sorrow at the tragic death of Jennifer Board.

Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper and Mundingburra MP Les Walker fronted media on Monday, saying they had been "screaming from the rooftops" at their government to prevent this happening again.

Ms Board was killed on Friday when a Holden Statesman rammed a stolen car and lost control, veering across both lanes and hitting her motorbike.

The MPs copped a raft of abuse from outraged community members for not showing up at a memorial rally for Ms Board at the crash site on Saturday.

Mr Harper said he didn't want to be part of a political trap.

"That memorial was a time for friends and family and groups of the community to come together and grieve, it was not a time for political grandstanding," Mr Harper said.

"There is a time for politics and Saturday wasn't a time for politics."

It is understood Mr Harper privately visited the memorial site on Saturday afternoon with his wife.

Mr Harper said he spoke at length with senior police and the Police Minister on Sunday, demanding an "immediate response", including strengthened bail laws.

When asked why it took a senseless death for these discussions, Mr Harper said he had been vocal for a long time.

Mundingburra MP Les Walker. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Mundingburra MP Les Walker. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Mr Walker said he was working with ministers to create change before Ms Board died, and promised that "change will happen" after a Queensland Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Mr Walker said "everything was on the table" when asked about what he'd asked them to consider, but would not be more specific.

"We've heard about bail, we've heard about (GPS) bracelets, we've heard about other programs … I'm waiting to see because we've got experts advising the team in Brisbane on a raft of ways we can address things from the offending behaviour, the family break down to committing the crimes on the street."

Mr Walker said he had been "screaming from the rooftops" to get change for the Townsville community.

 

shayla.bulloch@news.com.au

Originally published as 'Change will happen': MPs face up to community anger