Queensland introduces controversial new law to tackle bikie gangs
From: The Courier-Mail
June 01, 2012
QUEENSLAND police are preparing to tackle the Finks bikie gang on the Gold Coast head-on with the first use of controversial anti-association laws.
The Queensland Police Service has lodged documents in the Supreme Court seeking to ban members of the outlaw gang associating with one another.
It is not know yet whether the Finks will immediately launch legal action to fight any ban that is imposed.
The move follows a spate of violent bikie-related incidents in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast in recent weeks, including the shooting of a Bandidos bikie gang member and an innocent bystander at a Robina Shopping centre.
The controversial Criminal Organisation Act, which aims to stop bikies associating with each other, was introduced by the Bligh Government following a deadly brawl at Sydney Airport between members of the Hell's Angels and Comancheros in 2009.
In a media statement, the Queensland Police Service confirmed it had filed a formal application with the Supreme Court to have the Gold Coast chapter of the Finks declared a "criminal organisation" under the legislation.
Police said the first-of-its kind application was the result of extensive investigations led by the State Crime Operations Command's anti-bikie squad Task Force Hydra.
Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, State Crime Operations Command said the application was several months in the making.
"The preparation of an application is a comprehensive and lengthy process. A single application requires thorough investigation supported by significant evidence in order to meet the requirements of the legislation," he said.
"The team at Task Force Hydra have been working exhaustively since the legislation was passed to bring us to this point. We are confident in our position.
"This application is part of a wider enforcement strategy by the QPS to disrupt and dismantle those outlaw motorcycle gangs in Queensland who engage in criminal activity.
"This should be seen as a warning to other OMCGs who engage in criminal activity and present a risk to the community. Make no mistake, we will not hesitate to use these powers."
The law was passed in 2009 and activated the following year in an effort to disrupt and dismantle organisations involved in serious criminal activity.
Both South Australia and NSW have been forced to redraft similar legislation after initial attempts to ban members of some bikie gangs associating were successfully appealed.