Looming bikie turf war
on Gold Coast could damage city’s tourism industry
A BIKIE turf war predicted by police will
damage the Gold Coast’s tourism sector and destroy the city’s international
reputation, says former tourism minister, Jann Stuckey.
Her comments came after senior police officer
Supterintendent Jim Keogh yesterday revealed three outlaw motorcycle clubs,
Finks, Mongols and Hells Angels, were preparing to go to war if the state’s
tough anti-bikie laws were watered down.
Superintendent Keogh and other senior officers
have since been gagged and warned to stay silent.
The State Government’s taskforce on Organised
Crime Legislation is today due to release its final report from the Wilson
Inquiry which looked into the precedent-setting Vicious Lawless Association
Disestablishment laws, introduced in 2013.
The government has already flagged that it
wants changes to the Act.
Gold Coast Tourism boss Martin Winter said
repealing the laws “would be a mistake” and urged the Government not to let
organised crime gain a foothold.
“We strongly urge the current government to
maintain the laws as they stand because clearly have worked and there is no
place in our society for criminal behaviour,” he said.
“The reputation of the Gold Coast as a safe,
friendly and peaceful holiday destination is paramount and a core to our brand
“The Gold Coast tourism industry lobbied hard
to clean up organised crime conducted by bikie gangs a number of years ago
“We were very pleased when the previous State
Government introduced laws which came down heavily on offenders.”
Ms Stuckey said her constituents were also
concerned bikie extortion and violence would return to the Coast.
“(Tourism) Minister (Kate) Jones is missing in
action on this issue and she needs to show she is championing the state’s $23
billion tourism industry,” she said.
“We certainly don’t want to see our reputation
diminish with a return of criminal motorcycle gang activity and we want to
maintain the momentum.
“Since the laws were enacted we have witnessed
a dramatic reduction in these types of gang
activities on the Gold Coast and across
Ms Jones said the government knew community
safety was vital for tourism on the Gold Coast.
“That’s why our government will always take a
zero tolerance approach to organised crime,” she said.
The Government is due to discuss the
taskforce’s report at Cabinet on April 4.
“The Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation
was established by the Palaszczuk Government as promised at the 2015 state
election,” Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said.
“The commitment, Keeping Our Community Safe,
will implement the government’s “zero tolerance” stance against every element of
“The government has zero tolerance when it
comes to outlaw motorcycle gangs.”