She said that this included scrapping and
replacing the VLAD legislation and ditching anti-association laws in favour of
NSW’s anti-consorting legislation.
“We will move from anti-association provisions
to targeted consorting laws,” Ms D’Ath said.
“The taskforce have been very clear that the
anti-association laws as they exist currently are flawed and seriously at risk
of constitutional challenge.”
Under the NSW model, bikies can only be
stopped from associating if they have been convicted of an offence first.
Queensland police, however, wanted the
anti-association elements to stay – many bikie gang members who exist higher up
in the organisation are “clean skins”, with no prior convictions.
The state plans to extend the current ban on
wearing colours beyond licensed premises and will maintain mandatory sentencing
as part of its regime, despite last year ruling it out.
New control orders for organised crime
participants will also be introduced, which will place restrictions on convicted
bikies and other criminals including preventing them from associating. Ms D’Ath
warned gang members against anticipating an easy ride.
“I want to make it very clear for those outlaw
motorcycle gangs and criminals out there, who think that the doors are going to
be reopened – not only are they closed, but we’re wedging them shut,” she
The VLAD laws, and the contentious tough
mandatory sentencing provisions, will be scrapped and replaced with an
alternative sentencing scheme proposed by police, including Deputy Commissioner
Ross Barnett, Taskforce Maxima and the Queensland Police Union.
Under that scheme, a bikie found guilty of
certain offences could earn a maximum of an extra 15 years in jail if they do
Under the current VLAD laws, certain gang
members face sentences up to 25 years.
The police submission is one of three options
on the table for the Government to consider in replacing VLAD.
Ms Palaszczuk insisted that the scheme her
Government will eventually implement would be tougher than those that already
exist, despite being unclear on the anti-association changes.
“I believe these will be the benchmark of laws
that other states will follow. The former laws, parts of them worked, parts of
The taskforce that prepared the key report
that will largely inform the Government’s response made 60 recommendations, with
many aimed at handing power back to the courts.
But the Premier yesterday stressed her Cabinet
was still in the process of reviewing the vast majority of them and was yet to
decide which ones would be accepted.
She expected the new laws would be introduced
by August and passed by the end of the year.
Acting Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek
slam–med the report and the Government’s response:
“Rather than watering down the VLAD Act, Labor is
scrapping it altogether and putting Queenslanders’ safety at risk.”