Karl Stefanovic has unleashed on Annastacia Palaszczuk over the state’s crime crisis, accusing her of “running scared” from a spike in youth offending.
In a fiery interview on Thursday, the Today show host warned the Queensland Premier was “losing the people” over urgent law changes allowing children to be locked up in adult prisons.
“Seven out of 10 are reoffending. The bail laws aren't working, the punishment or lack thereof, it’s just not working,” Stefanovic argued.
“You have the power to fix it. When will you?”
The heated exchange came as hundreds of people rallied outside Parliament House on Wednesday calling for tougher action on youth crime
Mr Stefanovic slammed the Premier for refusing to step out and meet with protesters.
“These victims were literally chanting your name. You were once the voice of the people. Nothing would have stopped you from going outside. What stopped you yesterday?,” he said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she had chosen meet with victims of crime “without a TV camera outside.”
“It’s a parliament day, it’s very busy,” she said.
“I meet with people all the time that share their personal stories. Yes, I did meet with someone who lost a loved one. Yes, I sat there over a cup of tea and we talked about it. That is the way I conduct myself.”
Mr Stefanovic blasted the premier over a last-minute meeting with the widow of a Brisbane mother-of-two, who was allegedly stabbed to death in her home on Boxing Day last year.
“Yesterday you called a meeting with Lee Lovell, the husband of Emma Lovell, who as you know, was killed in an invasion that led to the protest yesterday,” he said.
“He had no idea he was going to meet you. Why was it done under cloak and dagger secrecy?”
Ms Palaszczuk blamed a local MP who she said had told Mr Lovell he would be meeting with a lawyer.
“Unfortunately, the local member has apologised that he should have said, “You're going to see the Premier,” she said.
The heated exchange came as Queensland prepares to ram through tough new laws to crack down on youth crime on Thursday.