The Australian town where tourists are telling others to stay away
The word deliberataly missing in the report below: "Aboriginal". 4,000 out of the 18,000 population of Mt Isa are Aborigines and it is their children who are the problem. You need to know that to expain why the problem is so bad. It would be "racism" to do anything about it
It is hard to think of anything that would work. Vigorous prosecution of offenders is probably all that could be tried
Tourists are writing scathing reviews to warn fellow Aussies to stay away from a popular outback town as youth crime threatens to destroy its reputation.
Travel website TripAdvisor has been flooded with reviews warning tourists on road trips across northern Australia to avoid the Queensland mining town of Mount Isa.
According to the latest crime data, Mount Isa has a property offence crime rate of 1167.37 incidents per 100,000 people in the town - which is more than triple the state average.
A Sydney family, who left Mount Isa before their three nights of booked accommodation was up, explained why tourists should stay away.
'I really hate to leave bad reviews and this one is based pure and simply on the youth crime,' the family wrote.
'I would not recommend anyone staying in Mt Isa. We found the managers to be very friendly and helpful but unfortunately, it does not alleviate the problem of crime.
'My advice is, just stay away from Mt Isa.'
Another family acknowledged the amenities and campsite where they stayed were good but raised concerns about security.
'There are no gates so anyone can walk in at anytime and this is not acceptable in a town with so much crime already,' they wrote.
'Will NEVER go back again and I am posting this to hopefully help others in deciding to NOT stay here because it is unsafe and we were extremely uncomfortable all night.'
A third couple from NSW titled their review 'Avoid avoid avoid' after staying for several weeks waiting for their car to be fixed.
'We were here 16 days. In that time the people beside us had their wallet stolen from car,' they said.
'We had our van door opened at 2.45am one morning. Few days later around 2.30am, heard voices got up peaked around blind just to see a teenager reaching for door handle by time.'
The online reviews sparked anger from local state MP Robbie Katter, who urged Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to 'show leadership and step in' to address the issue.
While he admitted to Daily Mail Australia youth crime was a huge issue in the town, he said he didn't want to deter tourists from visiting the region.
'My advice is to take precautions,' he said.
'Most of what Mount Isa has to offer for visitors is outside the town and is amazingly spectacular, which should be enjoyed by all Australians.'
Mr Katter said local tourism operators were doing their best but had been hampered by the lack of government intervention to address youth crime.
'It's a double-edged sword for them. They want travellers to come here but at the same time, they can't ignore the fact it's an issue,' he said.
Island BMX Club, a local bike spot, was one of the town's most recent victims.
Vandals broke into and set fire to the club last week, leaving behind a trail of extensive damage.
It was the latest blow for the club, which is already struggling financially post-pandemic and was only in operation due to the generous support of local businesses.
Heartbroken officials shared photos of the damage, including burned walls and inside the trashed club house where items, including food had been strewn.
'The toilet and shower facilities are complete burnt and will be condemned,' the club wrote.
'The club house has been destroyed with nearly all equipment smashed, doors and windows ripped out and general club and track damage.
'At this time we are unsure what this will mean for the future of BMX in Mount Isa.'
The Mount Isa CBD was also placed into emergency lockdown last weekend due to two separate police operations.
Mr Katter urged Ms Palaszczuk to 'show leadership and step in' to address the issues he told parliament last week.
'Violent and destructive youth crime is tearing North Queensland communities apart, and they are crying out for help,' he said.
'Mount Isa now has multiple businesses boarded up and TripAdvisor recommends that people do not stay for safety reasons.
'Given the inaction by the relevant ministers, will the Premier show leadership and step in to ensure that alternative tools, such as relocation sentencing, are delivered?'
In her response to Mr Katter, Ms Palaszczuk acknowledged youth crime as a serious issue in many Queensland communities, including Mount Isa.
'These are very complex issues. Unfortunately, some young children who are involved in youth crime do not have safe and secure homes,' she said.
'We need to continue to grow our foster care system and we must recognise that that needs to be culturally appropriate as well.'
Four of the top 10 districts for property crime are part of Mr Katter's electorate, including Mount Isa, Doomadgee, Mornington Island and Normanton.
He called on the state government to offer $1500 security grants to those affected in crime-ravaged communities.
'This crime wave doesn't discriminate, people have packed up their bags and left towns, as well as businesses who are under siege already have, or are prepared to, shut up shop as a result of crime, and this is a crying shame in every instance,' Mr Katter said.
'If the government clearly aren't willing to change any laws to help, then we need to find any small way to assist people financially that want to be proactive and assist in putting these offenders away.'