Redland Councillors urge tougher sentence for driver who caused fatalities

Redland City Councillors have today unanimously backed Mayor Karen Williams’ petition calling for tougher youth justice laws and an appeal of the sentence given to the driver of the car responsible for a fatal accident at Alexandra Hills last Australia Day.

Cr Williams said the support of Councillors for her Mayoral Minute at today’s general meeting would add to the 45,000 Queenslanders who had already signed the petition.

On Australia Day 2021, Kate Leadbetter, Matthew Field and their unborn son Miles were killed when they were struck by a stolen vehicle at the corner of Finucane and Allenby Roads, Alexandra Hills.  The accident was caused by a teen driver who was out on bail and under the influence at the time.

“The response to this petition has been overwhelming and today’s decision echoes the support being shown across the State,” Cr Williams said.

“By signing this petition the community is standing by the families of Matthew and Kate, and generating momentum for change.

“Following today’s decision hard copies of the petition will be made available at Council customer service centres and the e-petition will be promoted through Council social media channels so more people can access it.”

Cr Williams said she had been contacted by people from across the State and beyond wanting to support the petition.

“From Queensland’s cities to the Outback and from North Queensland to the southern border, people from across the State are making a stand by signing this petition,” she said.

“But, more importantly, this petition transcends politics in our city, with both sides of the State Parliament supporting it.

“Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli has signed and helped promote the petition, and Member for Capalaba Don Brown attended the scene last week to sign the petition and get a photo with David, me and Matthew’s parents, Russell and Ann.

“By working with both sides of politics, it gives the petition a greater chance of making a difference and I would like to thank David and Don for their bipartisan support.

“Don has also written to the Attorney-General calling for the sentence to be appealed, as has Member for Redlands Kim Richards, while other local MPs have also supported my petition, including the Member for Oodgeroo Mark Robinson and the Federal Member for Bowman Henry Pike.”

On 8 June 2022, the driver involved in the fatal accident was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years’ jail, with a possible parole period of six years. Accounting for time served, the driver will be eligible for release on Australia Day 2027, six years since the accident.

The sentence has been met with community outrage, with community and political leaders calling for the sentence to be appealed and for the Youth Justice Act to be reviewed.

On Friday 10 June, Cr Williams launched the Parliamentary Petition on behalf of the families and the wider community. In the first four days the petition was signed by 40,000 people.

Redland Councillors urge tougher sentence for driver who caused fatalities