Bikies driven out of other industries
Updated: 09:35, Wednesday October 16, 2013
Bikie gang members could be banned from the security, gym and second-hand car industries under a Queensland government crackdown.
Parliament passed a suite of new laws early on Wednesday aimed at dismantling criminal bikie gangs, and banning gang members from owning, operating or working in tattoo parlours.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie says the government is prepared to drive bikies out of other industries too, with more laws likely to be brought before parliament before the end of the year.
Mr Bleijie named the security, gym and second-hard car industries as examples of businesses they would target under the bans.
'If there are criminal motorcycle gang members profiteering, promoting, working, associating, being the proprietor of these other businesses, then we will crush them too,' he said.
'We are unapologetic in relation to making sure that we have the net cast as far and as wide as possible to catch these individuals and rid them from our streets.'
Mr Bleijie told Queenslanders to expect more anti-bikie laws.
'As the criminal motorcycle gang members respond to these laws, come up out of the ground from where they are hidden at the moment, we will have to introduce more laws targeting criminal motorcycle gang members,' he said.
The new laws passed with the support of Labor and crossbench MPs about 3am (AEST) on Wednesday.
The laws name 26 criminal organisations, including the Bandidos, Finks and Mongols.
Among other things, they ban members and associates from gathering and recruiting for new members and carry additional jail terms of 15 to 25 years for bikies who commit serious crimes.
The new laws have sparked serious human rights concerns, and a savage attack on the attorney-general by Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman.
He says Mr Bleijie is a joke, and 'doesn't give a rats' about his role as the first law officer of Queensland.
'All this attorney-general wants to be is the law-and-order, tough thumping politician,' Mr O'Gorman told the ABC.
'He is, as a first law officer, an absolute disgrace.
'He has no experience in the law. He was a conveyancer before he went into parliament. That lack of experience is clearly showing.'
Finks lawyer Bill Potts says the new laws could expose lawyers who represent bikies to criminal charges.
He says legal representatives could be deemed violent lawless associates simply by walking into court to represent their clients.
'A lawyer ... could be charged with the offence of being in a public place and would get a minimum six month jail sentence, and a maximum of three years,' he told the ABC.
'I'm not suggesting for a moment that's what was intended, but that's the legislation. That's the way it reads.'
Legal minds from other jurisdictions have also weighed in.
The former NSW director of public prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery, says the Newman government's idea of a bikies-only jail is 'nonsense' and a hysteria has developed around the bikies issue.
'There are some clubs and there are some members of motorcycle clubs who are pests, who commit serious criminal offences, and who should be dealt with by the criminal law,' he told a university forum on Tuesday night.
'But the mere fact of membership of an organisation of that kind should not have criminal consequences.'