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Queensland laws on bikie gangs and sex offenders will fail: Tony Fitzgerald

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THE man who presided over Queensland's historic corruption inquiry has launched a scathing attack on the Newman government's bikie and sex offender laws.

Tony Fitzgerald QC has warned Queenslanders not to be duped by laws he views as dangerous.

This month, the government gave itself the power to bypass the courts and keep some sex offenders in jail indefinitely.

Parliament also passed new laws that mean judges must now impose two sentences on criminal bikie gang members who commit a serious crime - one for the crime itself and another for being part of a declared criminal gang.

Mr Fitzgerald says Queenslanders should understand the gravity of the laws, which he warns are likely to fail.

New laws will fail, Fitzgerald says
 

"History teaches us that claims that repressive laws will reduce serious crime are usually hollow and that laws which erode individual freedom and expand a state's power over its citizens are fraught with peril," he writes in an opinion piece in The Courier-Mail.

He says parliament could chose to enact any law.

But parliamentarians "don't have a 'mandate' to give effect to prejudices and ill-informed opinions, ignore ethics and conventions or attack fundamental values such as personal freedom or essential institutions such as the judiciary".

Mr Fitzgerald says both sets of laws are populist and suggests they exploit the fears of less-educated Queenslanders.

He cites Wikipedia's definition for a demagogue, saying it provides an uncomfortable insight into modern politics.

"A demagogue ... is a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, fears, prejudices, and ignorance of the less-educated citizens in order to gain power and promote political motives."

Mr Fitzgerald is also scathing about how the government has handled concern about its laws.

Last week, Premier Campbell Newman called critics of the sex offender laws "apologists" for pedophiles.

"It is extremely arrogant and socially destructive for politicians to slander citizens who disagree with their 'political solution' or to denigrate the judicial branch of government and its generally conservative judges, who must make sometimes unpopular decisions in accordance with the law and available evidence and their oath of office," Mr Fitzgerald writes.

"And it is incomprehensible that any rational Queenslander who is even remotely aware of the state's recent history could for a moment consider reintroducing political interference into the administration of criminal justice, even to the point of making decisions about incarceration."

Mr Fitzgerald said he wrote the piece as a private citizen who was not aligned with any political party.

"I am a private citizen who has noticed that more problems are solved by thoughtful discussion than political grandstanding and personal abuse," he said.

The premier's office declined to directly address Mr Fitzgerald's criticisms today.

A spokesman for Mr Newman said the government was simply delivering on its plan to make Queensland safe.

- See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/queensland-laws-on-bikie-gangs-and-sex-offenders-will-fail-tony-fitzgerald/story-e6frgczx-1226748089355#sthash.sNKVnMFQ.dpuf

Queensland laws on bikie gangs and sex offenders will fail: Tony Fitzgerald

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Hi D Discover news with your friends. Give it a try.
To get going, simply connect with your favourite social network:

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THE man who presided over Queensland's historic corruption inquiry has launched a scathing attack on the Newman government's bikie and sex offender laws.

Tony Fitzgerald QC has warned Queenslanders not to be duped by laws he views as dangerous.

This month, the government gave itself the power to bypass the courts and keep some sex offenders in jail indefinitely.

Parliament also passed new laws that mean judges must now impose two sentences on criminal bikie gang members who commit a serious crime - one for the crime itself and another for being part of a declared criminal gang.

Mr Fitzgerald says Queenslanders should understand the gravity of the laws, which he warns are likely to fail.

New laws will fail, Fitzgerald says
 

"History teaches us that claims that repressive laws will reduce serious crime are usually hollow and that laws which erode individual freedom and expand a state's power over its citizens are fraught with peril," he writes in an opinion piece in The Courier-Mail.

He says parliament could chose to enact any law.

But parliamentarians "don't have a 'mandate' to give effect to prejudices and ill-informed opinions, ignore ethics and conventions or attack fundamental values such as personal freedom or essential institutions such as the judiciary".

Mr Fitzgerald says both sets of laws are populist and suggests they exploit the fears of less-educated Queenslanders.

He cites Wikipedia's definition for a demagogue, saying it provides an uncomfortable insight into modern politics.

"A demagogue ... is a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, fears, prejudices, and ignorance of the less-educated citizens in order to gain power and promote political motives."

Mr Fitzgerald is also scathing about how the government has handled concern about its laws.

Last week, Premier Campbell Newman called critics of the sex offender laws "apologists" for pedophiles.

"It is extremely arrogant and socially destructive for politicians to slander citizens who disagree with their 'political solution' or to denigrate the judicial branch of government and its generally conservative judges, who must make sometimes unpopular decisions in accordance with the law and available evidence and their oath of office," Mr Fitzgerald writes.

"And it is incomprehensible that any rational Queenslander who is even remotely aware of the state's recent history could for a moment consider reintroducing political interference into the administration of criminal justice, even to the point of making decisions about incarceration."

Mr Fitzgerald said he wrote the piece as a private citizen who was not aligned with any political party.

"I am a private citizen who has noticed that more problems are solved by thoughtful discussion than political grandstanding and personal abuse," he said.

The premier's office declined to directly address Mr Fitzgerald's criticisms today.

A spokesman for Mr Newman said the government was simply delivering on its plan to make Queensland safe.

- See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/queensland-laws-on-bikie-gangs-and-sex-offenders-will-fail-tony-fitzgerald/story-e6frgczx-1226748089355#sthash.sNKVnMFQ.dpuf

Queensland laws on bikie gangs and sex offenders will fail: Tony Fitzgerald

Your Friends' Activity

Hi D Discover news with your friends. Give it a try.
To get going, simply connect with your favourite social network:

Facebook
THE man who presided over Queensland's historic corruption inquiry has launched a scathing attack on the Newman government's bikie and sex offender laws.

Tony Fitzgerald QC has warned Queenslanders not to be duped by laws he views as dangerous.

This month, the government gave itself the power to bypass the courts and keep some sex offenders in jail indefinitely.

Parliament also passed new laws that mean judges must now impose two sentences on criminal bikie gang members who commit a serious crime - one for the crime itself and another for being part of a declared criminal gang.

Mr Fitzgerald says Queenslanders should understand the gravity of the laws, which he warns are likely to fail.

New laws will fail, Fitzgerald says
 

"History teaches us that claims that repressive laws will reduce serious crime are usually hollow and that laws which erode individual freedom and expand a state's power over its citizens are fraught with peril," he writes in an opinion piece in The Courier-Mail.

He says parliament could chose to enact any law.

But parliamentarians "don't have a 'mandate' to give effect to prejudices and ill-informed opinions, ignore ethics and conventions or attack fundamental values such as personal freedom or essential institutions such as the judiciary".

Mr Fitzgerald says both sets of laws are populist and suggests they exploit the fears of less-educated Queenslanders.

He cites Wikipedia's definition for a demagogue, saying it provides an uncomfortable insight into modern politics.

"A demagogue ... is a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, fears, prejudices, and ignorance of the less-educated citizens in order to gain power and promote political motives."

Mr Fitzgerald is also scathing about how the government has handled concern about its laws.

Last week, Premier Campbell Newman called critics of the sex offender laws "apologists" for pedophiles.

"It is extremely arrogant and socially destructive for politicians to slander citizens who disagree with their 'political solution' or to denigrate the judicial branch of government and its generally conservative judges, who must make sometimes unpopular decisions in accordance with the law and available evidence and their oath of office," Mr Fitzgerald writes.

"And it is incomprehensible that any rational Queenslander who is even remotely aware of the state's recent history could for a moment consider reintroducing political interference into the administration of criminal justice, even to the point of making decisions about incarceration."

Mr Fitzgerald said he wrote the piece as a private citizen who was not aligned with any political party.

"I am a private citizen who has noticed that more problems are solved by thoughtful discussion than political grandstanding and personal abuse," he said.

The premier's office declined to directly address Mr Fitzgerald's criticisms today.

A spokesman for Mr Newman said the government was simply delivering on its plan to make Queensland safe.

- See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/queensland-laws-on-bikie-gangs-and-sex-offenders-will-fail-tony-fitzgerald/story-e6frgczx-1226748089355#sthash.sNKVnMFQ.dpuf

Bikie left fighting for life after shooting

Date

Thomas O'Byrne and Nino Bucci

A patched Red Devils gang member is in hospital after being shot in the driveway of his Epping home

A bikie associated with the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang has been shot in the torso outside his home in Melbourne's north.

The injured man, believed to be patched Red Devils gang member Daniel Pegoraro, was shot in the chest in the driveway of his Epping home about 9pm on Sunday. He is believed to have been shot multiple times.

He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.

Police attend the scene of the shooting in Epping.

Police attend the scene of the shooting in Epping.

A police spokeswoman said the victim was aged in his 20s, but she was unable to comment on his identity.

Men wearing Red Devils jackets were at the McCarty Avenue address about an hour after the shooting.

The Red Devils acts as a feeder group for the Hells Angels gang.

Red Devils motorcycle gang members were at the scene within an hour of the shooting.

Red Devils motorcycle gang members were at the scene within an hour of the shooting.

Tensions between the Hells Angels and rival gang Bandidos have been high since the shooting of former Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Toby Mitchell earlier this year.

Police had cornered off McCarty Avenue late on Sunday night.

Nearby residents told Fairfax Media there had been motorcycle activity in the area throughout Sunday.

Daniel Pegoraro leaves Heidelberg Magistrates Court after an appearance last month.

Daniel Pegoraro leaves Heidelberg Magistrates Court after an appearance last month.

In March, up to six gunshots were fired at a McCarty Avenue house in a drive-by shooting, but no one was injured.

Following that incident, a Victoria Police spokeswoman told Fairfax Media that the shooting was related to the escalating violence between outlaw motorcycle clubs in Melbourne.

Mr Pegoraro, 28, is a prospect of the Hells Angels Nomads, a chapter based in Thomastown.

Five days after Mr Mitchell was shot in March, Mr Pegoraro was linked to the ambush when he faced court over the theft of stolen property including caravans worth $1.1 million.

Those matters were later dropped by police, as were assault charges stemming from a brawl at a Mill Park shopping centre that police alleged he had started.

That brawl also involved his brother Benjamin, 23, but charges against both were dropped last month.

Fairfax Media reported earlier this month that Echo Taskforce detectives believe Mr Mitchell had stood down as the Bandidos’ Australasian serjeant-at-arms and had handed in his club colours.

He had been considered the enforcer of club rules and ‘‘general’’ in times of war across the club’s chapters in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Thailand but had left the club because of poor health.

Police have been searching for an M1 carbine and AK-47 linked to the Hells Angels that had been used during several shootings at the clubhouses of rivals, but the Pegoraros had not been linked to these weapons.

Calls to the Pegoraro family on Monday were not returned.
 

 

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