SEEING your child fighting for life is every parent's worst nightmare.
Especially when that parent actively campaigns against senseless violence.
Joseph Bonanno, 19, who is the youngest child of Mackay Regional Councillor Chris Bonanno and his wife Lynnis, was left in a critical condition, after a coward punch attack on Saturday night.
Ironically his father Chris is part of the City Safe Committee; a group including police, councillors, nightclub owners and other representatives, who have worked hard to make Mackay's City heart a safe place for a night out.
Snr Constable Julia Grisan, of the Crime Prevention Unit in Mackay says that there has been a definite reduction in these types of offences.
"With all the campaigning by the city council and Queensland Police Service, all the patrolling, we have definitely seen a reduction in these types of offences".
'There is a strong police presence within the (City heart) precinct. During busier periods and events, you may even see special operations police. This weekend was just an ordinary weekend, however violence can happen at any time" she said.
For Cr Bonanno the incident has brought home the importance of educating people on the devastating affects that one quick act of violence can have.
By his son's side when he started having a seizure, Cr Bonanno said,"When they go into a seizure mode, they change colour and you think this is it. When you see you're youngest son do it, that got me. I was lying on top of him to hold him down. It's not something you want to be part of. When it's one of your own it really hits home. These sort of things should never happen".
Joseph who works as a bar supervisor in the city-heart, was out with friends , when he was allegedly attacked.
Joseph is still recovering in Mackay Base Hospital.
"We spent the day in the emergency ward basically. When you see what goes on in there and that's going on all the time, you've got to take your hat off to them. My hat goes off to police, ambos, doctors and nurses; all the staff that make it all happen. We are lucky to have those people here" Cr Bonanno said.
"Joseph is in a better condition. We believe he'll get better. The doctors believe he'll get better. People need to think before they put their hands up," Cr Bonanno said.
"These sort of issues need to be handled in the right way. One violent act doesn't need another one. We want a positive outcome," Cr Bonanno said.
Snr Constable Julia Grisan says people can stay safe in the City-heart, mainly, by being aware.
"Walk around with a buddy and be aware of your surroundings' she said. .
Part of her job is to try and make people understand the actions they take and the consequences of senseless violence.
"It can ruin lives. Not only who was hit but the offender too" said Snr Constable Grisan. .
Mackay Criminal Investigation Branch is currently investigating the incident.
Anyone with information can call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000 or contact Mackay CIB on 4968 3533.
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