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D'Ath defends 'narrow' youth justice probe

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Jamie McKinnell and David Sigston

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has defended a government-ordered review of the youth detention system after suggestions its terms of reference are too narrow.

The review into the Townsville and Brisbane youth detention centres, ordered by Ms D'Ath in August, will now be broadened to include an incident in 2013.

The attorney-general said she didn't have specific details about the change "because importantly this is an independent review.

"They've brought an incident to my attention, they've said it happened in mid-2013, they've asked for the terms of reference to be altered to include this incident," she said.

The probe is examining claims by Amnesty International of a systemic "culture of abuse and secrecy".

Ms D'Ath said the purpose of the review was to examine the oversight of the system and potential systemic failings.

Two former workers have told the ABC their evidence may not be included.

Queensland's attorney-general Yvette D'Ath has rejected suggestions a probe into failings in the youth detention system may be too narrow. © AAP Image/Glenn Hunt Queensland's attorney-general Yvette D'Ath has rejected suggestions a probe into failings in the youth detention system may be too narrow. Ms D'Ath said incidents were always investigated by the department internally.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad later confirmed the workers' testimony would be included.

"I'm confident that the attorney-general has established a very rigorous, independent review into the youth justice system in Queensland and it will give the government some very good recommendations," Ms Trad said.

A probe is also under way into a riot at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre last week during which four guards were injured, including Grant Oakland who was hit by a rock.

Mr Oakland, 55, fears he may lose sight in one eye and has undergone more surgery overnight to reattach his retina.

"I am appalled that you had no protective equipment at all for a riot situation," his sister posted on Facebook as he prepared to go into surgery.

Ms D'Ath said it may be some time before Mr Oakland knows if he would retain his sight.

"As of last week there were reports that possibly he may be able to see light and dark but there will be many future surgeries," she said.

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