The Crime and Corruption Commission has conceded its government-led focus on bikie gangs had affected other areas of investigation. Photo: Paul Rovere
The Newman government's focus on bikie gangs allowed other areas of organised crime to flourish, a commission of inquiry has found.
Commissioner Michael Byrne, QC, said while he was not "pointing the finger at anyone", other non-bikie-related crimes, such as child exploitation, had been neglected.
"The evidence before the commission suggests that the focus upon – and resources solely dedicated to – the threat of outlaw motorcycle gangs by the (Queensland Police Service) has meant that other types of organised crime have not been able to be appropriately investigated," Mr Byrne's report says.
Commissioner Michael Byrne, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, said a focus on bikies had allowed other crime to flourish. Photo: Cameron Atfield
Mr Byrne said the Crime and Corruption Commission's submission to his inquiry conceded its government-led focus on bikie gangs had affected other areas of investigation.
Because of that, he said, "they had lost vision of other forms of organised crime in the state".
Mr Byrne cited child exploitation material and financial crimes as examples.
Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the crackdown on bikies was a result of attacks on a police station at the Gold Coast. Photo: Glenn Hunt
In the 21-month period between October 1, 2013, and June 30, 2015, outlaw motorcycle gang members accounted for just 0.52 per cent of criminal activity in Queensland, Mr Byrne said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the commission of inquiry's report would be considered by the VLAD task force, which was reviewing the former government's controversial anti-bikie legislation.
"We know that organised crime is not just about bikie gangs," she said.
"I understand bikie gangs are the public face of organised crime but if we focus all our energy on bikies, others will flourish."
Ms Palaszczuk said she was "very concerned" about the contents of the report and would seek a meeting with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart as soon as she could.
Mr Byrne said there were 43 recommendations in the report.
"This was not an inquiry looking at particular individuals," he said.
"This was to find out whether the Queensland community and agencies were properly responding to the threat of organised crime."
Mr Byrne was appointed to the inquiry in April, at the same time as Racing Queensland, of which he was chairman, was subject of its own inquiry.
Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said while he was yet to read Mr Byrne's report, the LNP made "no apology" for its hard-line approach to criminal gangs.
"As you know, that derived from a circumstance down on the Gold Coast where bikies were attacking the police station," he said.
"You either stand up to that or you let it go ahead."
Mr Walker said police had resources during the Newman era to take on all kinds of crime.
"The allocation of resources from one area of crime to another is a matter for the police force," he said.
"Certainly we took their advice in respect of legislation. If they felt any of the legislation was lacking, either then or now, clearly we would take that advice on board."
Mr Walker said the opposition would take the report's recommendations on board and "take them seriously".
"It's been somewhat of a secret report and that is something of concern to the opposition," he said.
"Mr Byrne indicated at the beginning of the process that he expected to have public hearings, but that didn't eventuate and that's a disappointment for us."