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Harbouring runaways

Eligibility - Queensland residents

Principal Petitioner:

Jeanine McDougall
13 Blazey Street

Total Signatures - 428

Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament

Posting Date: 5/03/2020

Closing Date: 29/03/2020

Tabled Date: 22/04/2020

Responded By: Hon Di Farmer MP on 22/05/2020

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that the harbouring of runaway minors is a problematic issue in our community. Minors from stable homes choose to leave and take up residence in other families where unauthorised adults attempt to claim Centrelink benefits, carers rights and in some cases, involve the minors in criminal activities. South Australia has legislation that makes the harbouring of runaways an offence under law. Legislation of this kind has the potential to discourage adults becoming involved in encouraging youth delinquency. We have witnessed death at the hands of delinquent youth on the roads in our community. The rights of parents need to be protected against members of the public who deem themselves qualified and entitled to determine the best interests of a child they are not related to. Future implications for young people subject to the behaviour of irresponsible adults in these circumstances lead to dysfunction in relationships and can contribute to family and domestic violence.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the house to enact legislation that would make the harbouring of runaways an offence under law, that any concerns about a minor's safety and wellbeing in the home of their legal guardians be investigated through Child Safety, so that any issues can be addressed formally, enabling support for young people and their families to be implemented in an orderly manner. We request that the harbouring of a runaway be made an offence so that the person harbouring a runaway can be prosecuted.