House debates

Monday, 15 February 2021

Statements by Members

Board, Ms Jennifer

1:44 pm

Photo of Phillip ThompsonPhillip Thompson (Herbert, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Two Friday nights ago, Townsville lost a young woman to a senseless crime. Twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Board had only just bought her new motorbike when she was hit by a car that was chasing a stolen car. Tragically, Jennifer did not survive.

The next day, the crash scene was covered in orange, Jennifer's favourite colour. A fence was lined with flowers and cards. Hundreds of people—friends, family and strangers—gathered together to try and make sense of the shock and grief that they were feeling. How could a young woman well known, respected and loved in our community be snatched from us in this way? Jennifer loved adventure, the outdoors, her bike and fitness. She loved helping people in her job at the gym. Her friends say she could never hurt a single person in her life. Now Townsville is without one of our people who exemplify what is great about our community.

The emotions at Saturday's impromptu community memorial were real and raw. Ever since, people have been asking the question: how could this have happened? It's a question that's repeated in my mind over and over. Why has it taken a tragic event like this one for Townsville's long-running issue with youth crime to get the attention it deserves? We owe it to Jennifer to be better, to do better. I'm sorry. We have failed you. Rest in peace.