Balin leaves a lasting legacy

Michael and Kerri-Lyn Stewart in parliament. Photo: Balin Stewart Foundation/ Facebook

The State Government has committed a total of $6 million to fund knife crime prevention campaigns.

The government will provide the Balin Stewart Foundation with $200,000 over two years to continue its Bin the Blade for Balin campaign.

Michael and Kerri-Lyn Stewart’s son Balin died after being stabbed at Buddina on the Sunshine Coast in January 2022.

In the aftermath of their tragedy, Michael and Kerri-Lyn have shown great strength by working to ensure that Balin leaves a lasting legacy and a safer community.

In addition, the government will provide $500,000 over two years to the Jack Beasley Foundation.

Jack’s parents, Brett and Belinda Beasley, have been instrumental in Queensland becoming a nation-leader when it comes to combating knife crime.

Thanks to Brett and Belinda’s relentless advocacy, Jack’s Law is now in place in Queensland.

As a result of the police wanding operations authorised by Jack’s Law, police have taken more than 450 weapons off the streets.

Jack’s Law has been a success and this week the Premier announced the government would now give consideration to an expansion of the framework.

Brett and Belinda have also been instrumental in advocating for laws restricting the sale of knives to minors, laws that are expected to be passed by the Queensland Parliament later today.

The government will also fund an awareness and education campaign to support the new laws preventing the retail sale of knives to minors.

Premier Steven Miles said, “I have nothing but admiration for the Stewarts and the Beasleys.“

“Two families that have turned the most unimaginable tragedies into lasting legacies for their sons.

“We have introduced some of the toughest laws in the country to hold offenders to account, and we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into targeting serious repeat youth offenders, tackling the complex causes of crime and boosting community safety, but we know there is always more to do.

“The Jack Beasley Foundation and the Balin Stewart Foundation are helping to make Queensland a safer place and this investment shows we are serious about tackling crime from every angle.”

Police Minister Mark Ryan said, “On behalf of all Queenslanders I would like to thank Brett and Belinda and Michael and Kerri-Lynn.“

“Not many people have the strength to endure the tragedies that have struck their families and then go on to create a legacy for the loved ones they lost.

“Queensland leads the nation in the fight against knife crime.

“And that is in very large part due to the unwavering efforts of those behind the Jack Beasley Foundation and the Balin Stewart Foundation.

“Their efforts educating young people are helping to support community safety.”

Brett Beasley said, “Belinda and I want to sincerely thank the Premier and the government for supporting the Jack Beasley Foundation.“

“This funding will make a real difference to our capacity to deliver our education programs to young people.

“Everything the Jack Beasley Foundation does is aimed at keeping young people safe.

“I know that the government shares our desire to support community safety and this funding will truly help our efforts.”

Michael Stewart from the Balin Stewart Foundation said, “Kerri-Lyn and I are truly humbled to be a part of these funding announcements today.“

“The Balin Stewart foundation’s mission is to raise awareness to the general public and to educate our youth of the dire, ever-lasting consequences of carrying a knife.

“We are encouraged that a step in the right direction has been taken and hopefully be the start of ever lasting change.

“We all have a lot of work to do, to curb this scourge on our society. Now the Balin Stewart Foundation will be able to enhance and evolve our programs to achieve these common goals.”

Caloundra MP Jason Hunt said, “It’s impossible to comprehend the pain and loss that Michael and Kerri-Lyn have had to endure after their son Balin was so cruelly taken from them.“

“Yet through it all they have determined that they will do everything they can to minimise knife crime through the Balin Stewart Foundation.

“I’m very proud to be part of the Miles government that is listening to people like Michael and Kerri-Lyn and acting to deliver a safer Queensland.”