The WA Premier has dismissed concerns raised by a Kimberley Shire president that the State Government has failed to properly deal with youth crime in the region. Derby Shire president Geoff Haerewa appeared on ABC’s Four Corners program this month, claiming youth crime was the No.1 issue in the region and “the Department of Child Protection is failing in delivering . . . those wraparound services that are needed”. Mr Haerewa has been the Shire of Derby president since 2017 and ran as the Liberal candidate for the Kimberley in the 2021 State election. During parliamentary question time last week, Premier Mark McGowan brushed off claims he was ignoring calls for help from the community leader. “The Government is putting enormous effort into providing additional resources across regional Western Australia to support families that need that help in dealing with youth,” he said. As listed by the Premier, these resources include the Target 120 program — rolled out in 2018 — which provided intensive support for families that have been identified as having children at risk of going into the youth justice system. Also mentioned was the Statewide recruitment of 1000 police officers over the past two years, the employment of 400 to 500 Aboriginal education staff and $350 million in funding for the provision of water, power, municipal services and housing in remote Aboriginal communities. “(Mr Haerewa) was a Liberal candidate in the last election and was defeated. It is a fact, and he criticises the State Government,” Mr McGowan said. Mr Haerewa has since rebuked the Premier’s claims his concern is merely political. “These issues were happening well before I became a candidate,” he said. “Everything I talk about is from as a Shire president perspective, it is not political. It is what we are living and breathing every day, and that was one of the main reasons why I put my hand up because the government weren’t doing anything, on both sides.” And in response to the McGowan Government’s “enormous effort” to deal with the problem, Mr Haerewa said it was not enough. “I don’t think it’s enough, but I am grateful that they are finally doing something after four years of continuous lobbying and advocating,” he said.