Labor to oppose bikie colours legislation
Labor will oppose legislation banning bikies from wearing insignia saying it does not go far enough to target organised crime in Tasmania.
Labor’s police spokesman Shane Broad said the government’s plan to ban outlaw motorcycle gang colours would not address the much wider issue of organised crime and gave the Police Minister too much power.
Dr Broad said while Labor was fully on board with the move to curb the criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs, the government’s Police Offences Amendment (Prohibited Insignia) Bill, to be debated in state parliament next week, does not target the wider scope of organised crime.
“The fight against organised crime in Tasmania needs to be much, much broader including, but not limited to, outlaw motorcycle gangs,” Dr Broad said.
“Tasmania cannot be allowed to become a haven for criminal gangs especially when dealing with the impact of drug trafficking.
“But it is silly to think banning bikie colours will solve the problem.”
Dr Broad said the bill to be debated in the House of Assembly does not adequately address organised crime.
“It is an appalling piece of legislation,” he said.
“While the distribution of illicit drugs should be a core focus of any clamp down, the Liberals with their proposed legislation are ignoring the fact that the underworld has a broad scope.
“It can involve extortion rackets to white collar corporate scams, to youth and street gangs, to the production and distribution of pornography and child exploitation material.”
“Instead of pretending that banning the wearing of colours will solve all of Tasmania’s drug and crime issues, the government should be following the lead of other states by drafting comprehensive organised crime legislation.
“Banning insignia should be part of a comprehensive toolkit available to police – not the be-all-and-end-all – and increased powers should be activated after evidence is tested in a court.
Labor also argued the legislation gave the Police Minister too much power.
“There is no court process and no appeals and it doesn’t even mention drugs,” Dr Broad said.
“If enacted, the Minister could ban almost anything that displays any insignia or logo of almost any organisation, with no due process, evidence or court action required.”
Dr Broad said importantly, the proposed laws did not address the need for increased tools police need to undertake a comprehensive organised crime operation, including an increased investment in specialist skills to catch criminals and take away the profits of their crimes.
Civil rights groups have criticised the legislation and the Australian Lawyers Alliance said it was a violation of human rights.