Queensland and New South Wales already have
laws that stop the wearing of club colours in public and gang members
associating with each other.
Those laws have been credited with curtailing
the activities of gangs, driving members overseas or interstate where
the laws are not as tough.
Assistant Commissioner Glenn Frame said it was
the reason Tasmania had seen an influx of bikies.
Time to fight back: police
Police estimate there are now 259 gang members
in Tasmania but he said the time had come for Tasmania Police to fight
"Certainly other states have introduced
significant legislation around the wearing of colours and of consorting
with motorcycle gang members," he said.
"We can be seen as a safe haven if we don't
introduce similar legislation."
"We've seen the introduction of a couple of
extra clubs, we've seen an expansion of a number of them to different
areas of the state and what we're seeing is a real concern for us that
they're growing in Tasmania and that's not good for people in Tasmania.
"We've seen the Bandidos, we're concerned about
other gangs moving to Tasmania and we've had the Rebels here and they
continue to increase.
"A number of these people have been convicted
of serious criminal offences including drug trafficking and Tasmanian
society deserves protection from these type of people."
The non-consorting orders will apply in both
public places and behind closed doors, but there will be exemptions for
But unlike other states, the ban on club
colours will only apply to clubs specifically designated by the
The Assistant Commissioner said the
"displacement" of outlaw gangs from other states into Tasmania was a
'Violation of human rights'
The measures have labelled "absolutely
unnecessary and very, very concerning" by the Australian Lawyers
Tasmanian president Fabiano Cangelosi believes
they are a violation of human rights.
"That kind of thing is absolutely uncalled for,
it is a fundamental violation of people's rights and it shouldn't be
tolerated here," he said.
"The fact that bad ideas have been put into
effect elsewhere doesn't mean we should have the same experience in
"The experience of other states is that where
the power is given to the police the police tend to abuse that power.
"So we have stories of for instance in
Queensland members of motorcycle clubs being charged with associating
with each other in the foyer of court buildings."
He does not believe the crackdown is justified.
"The evidence doesn't seem to be that
motorcycle clubs are using their organisational hierarchy in Tasmania to
facilitate the commission of crime, there doesn't appear to be any
evidence of that," he said.
"So far nothing has been demonstrated in any
way that shows that motorcycle clubs are setting up in Tasmania because
it is easier to commit crime here.
"It isn't a matter of whether members of
motorcycle clubs are doing the wrong thing, it's a matter of
"Why should people lie down and have their
rights taken away from them? People should be treated the same whether
they are members of a motorcycle club as whether they are not members of
a motorcycle club."
Tasmanian police have had some success in using
existing licensing laws to target individual clubhouses, such as the
Rebels Tasmanian headquarters in North Hobart.
The exterior of that clubhouse is no longer
plastered with the club's colours and logos — although the confederate
flag still flies within the compound and the fortifications have stayed.
Bikies have argued that there is no evidence
that they are running any criminal operations in Tasmania and that the
handful of drug arrests police have made over the past five years
involving those linked to the club would be percentage wise the same as
other clubs such as football clubs.