Barron River MP Craig Crawford’s advocacy for his electorate and Cairns came into question last night after he labelled the streets of Cairns as ‘dangerous’ in the Queensland Parliament, during last night’s debate on Labor’s lockout laws.
Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps said he was alarmed to hear Mr Crawford publicly declare the streets of the City of Cairns to be unsafe.
“Mr Crawford is supposed to be an advocate and an ambassador for the Barron River electorate and the City of Cairns, so his statement was a surprise,” Mr Cripps said.
“I hope Mr Crawford understands that the comments he makes in Parliament can reflect on his electorate and I’m alarmed about how his remarks frame the City of Cairns.
“Cairns is an international city with an economy based on the tourism industry, so I question the wisdom of a local MP declaring the streets of the city he represents to be dangerous.
“I believe his statements* were poorly chosen and regrettable – no doubt there will be industry and civic leaders in Cairns that will regret Mr Crawford’s rash comments.”
Mr Cripps said Mr Crawford made a sober contribution to the debate on the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s new lockout laws as a former paramedic.
“I respect Mr Crawford’s experience as a QAS paramedic and share his aversion for violent, irresponsible and anti-social behaviour associated with the abuse of alcohol,” he said.
“However, I disagree with him that Labor’s proposed measures will be effective and I certainly think that declaring the streets of Cairns to be dangerous was alarmist and un-called for.”
Mr Cripps said he was confident Queensland Police officers in Cairns were more than capable of keeping the Cairns residents of and visitors safe.
[ENDS] 18 February 2016
Media contact: Opposition office 3838 6767
* (Queensland Parliamentary Hansard, 17 February 2016, page 199)
The exact wording of Mr Crawford’s speech, as recorded in the official Hansard record was:
“I want to address Cairns for a second. We do have a problem. I heard a statement before that Cairns does not have a problem. Cairns does have a problem. The Cairns streets are dangerous. I would not walk them late at night. Many of my friends are police and they say to me that they would not walk them late at night. This misbelief that Cairns is a safe place after hours—it is not.