Outlaw bikie gangs will be banned from wearing
club colours in public if they engage in illegal activity, under a
Liberal election promise to cut down on the scourge of the drug ice.
Under a policy touted as the "war on ice",
Liberal leader Will Hodgman said that if re-elected, the party would
introduce laws to proscribe gang members from wearing club insignia,
arguing they use it to intimidate and influence people, as well as
for recruiting and promoting the club.
"Ninety-nine per cent of people on
motorbikes in our state are law abiding, and simply love getting on
the back of their bike and enjoying our state," Mr Hodgman said.
"But we know outlaw motorcycle gangs
bring with them a range of criminal activity, and more often
than not they are heavily involved in the illicit trade of ice.
"We are determined to come like a tonne of
bricks on anyone who will trade in illicit drugs, especially ice."
Under the plan, the police commissioner
would provide advice to the police minister as to whether there was
intelligence that a gang had engaged in illegal activity.
The Police Minister would then table
legislation in Parliament "proscribing" a club from wearing colours.
Clubs would be under pressure to expel
members convicted of criminal offences.
Liberal police spokesman Rene Hidding would
not name particular gangs that could be affected.
"In Tasmania, we have ice in the community
in ways that are deeply concerning," Mr Hidding said.
"It is important that we get at the base
level of this, which is the distribution and sale of the product.
"Police intelligence strongly shows
that this is carried out by certain outlaw motorcycle gangs."
Mr Hidding said the policy tackled the
recruitment of gang members and dealers.
"Their way of doing business is to go into
public places, pubs and clubs, wearing their colours and
intimidating and recruiting young people," he said.
"The way to recruit an ice dealer in
Tasmania is pretty easy, you just need to get them to take the first
hit and then sadly the addiction is so vicious that that person
needs to buy more."
Police union backs colours ban
Police Association president Pat Allen said
tough bikie laws elsewhere in Australia were resulting in gangs
moving into Tasmania.
"We're suddenly getting an influx of outlaw
motorcycle gangs moving in, we don't want Tasmania open for business
for them," Mr Allen said.
"If you're selling ice and you're a member
of an outlaw gang, then they are just not welcome here.
"The colours are intimidatory, when
they walk into a pub all coloured up it's intimidation, so take
their colours off them."
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the
Liberals had "manifestly" failed on drug prevention.
"We need to be in there at the ground level
working with people who are addicted or at risk of addiction
providing early intervention and better treatment facilities and
that is something the liberals have manifestly failed to do," Ms
"If the Liberals are serious about dealing
with the scourge of ice they won't be tinkering around the edges
like this," she said.