Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie backed bikie boss "Big Brad" Hughes for hospital work contract
- The Courier-Mail
- February 05, 2014
The case of Bradley "Big Brad" Hughes, a one-time Bandidos leader who continues to profit from big taxpayer-funded projects, highlights the spread of bikie entrepreneurs who now face being banned from the building industry.
Mr Bleijie said he was not aware that Mr Hughes was a Bandido when he gave comment for a media story about how the concreter and others had been unable to obtain work on the project.
The fact that businesses linked to criminal gangs "often fly under the radar" was the reason why the Government was now trying to clean up the construction industry, he said.
"They have their fingers in many pies and you wouldn't even know someone working in your house is a criminal gang member."
From July 1, outlaw motorcycle gang members will be blacklisted by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
Mr Hughes, who has told police he quit the Bandidos but remains under close scrutiny, has won contracts for his business on Airport Link and now Legacy Way.
Former Highway 61 member Scott Paton also had a concrete business "booming" from work on state government projects, including Airport Link and the Gateway Bridge upgrade.
One large Airport Link subcontractor was a company owned by a Club Deroes bikie from Western Australia.
Mr Bleijie said the Government's licensing reforms meant that bikies would not be able to "hold construction licences or be directors of a construction company".
"Under our laws, Queenslanders can be assured that public projects are being awarded to only law-abiding professionals," he said.
Mr Hughes, who boasted his company had "the biggest and best machines in southeast Queensland", claimed he was blackballed by the CFMEU, which refused to grant him a union workplace agreement even after he bought a company with a pre-existing one.
Asked if he had ever been a Bandidos member, he replied: "It's got nothing to do with anything. It's like being in a football club. It's like being in a soccer club."
Asked if Bandidos links had counted against him, he said: "No one (in the industry) gives a sh-- who does what. If you've got good gear and you do a good job, you get there."