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Letters from Politicians in WA

Our regular contributor Muzz from WA has received these two distinctly different replies from different political reps...


From the Greens:

To: Murray
Subject: RE: Control of Criminal Organisations Act 2011


Dear Mr. XXXX


Thank you for your letter of 10 February 2012 and your analysis of the Criminal Organisations Control Bill 2011.


My Greens colleagues and I share your assessment and concern regarding this Bill.   As a party we fundamentally oppose any legislation that discriminates against an individual based upon their membership of a group. 


As you point out, the Bill does not even include wording specific to the group that the Barnett Government purports to target and as such could be used to discriminate against any group of people.  This Bill would breach the integrity, independence, and authority of the courts. Whatever the Bill’s stated intent, history has repeatedly witnessed the disastrous effects on individual freedom where legislation like this is on the books.


The Greens (WA) regard current legislation as adequate to deal with criminal activities associated with bikie gangs.


I have passed on your comments to my colleague, the Hon. Giz Watson MLC who is the Greens (WA) spokesperson for Justice.   Ms Watson will be making comments on the Bill during the debate in Parliament.  She will also be moving amendments aimed at narrowing the scope of the Bill, and to refer it to the Legislation Committee.  Ultimately the Greens MLCs will vote against the Bill on principle.


Thank you for taking the initiative to write to a range of your representatives in Parliament. 


Yours sincerely,


Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC

Member for South Metropolitan Region

Legislative Council

Parliament of Western Australia


Unit 7, 142 South Terrace

Fremantle, Western Australia 6160

Tel: +61.8.9430 7233

Fax: +61.8.9430 7207


and from the National Party


Good Morning


Re: Criminal Organisations Control Bill 2011


Thank you for your email received recently expressing your concerns regarding the abovementioned Bill.


My Parliamentary Colleagues and I in the Legislative Council will be supporting this legislation after lengthy and detailed consideration. It is our view that the bill contains sufficient checks and balances to avoid inappropriate use of the powers it contains. I am confident that only genuine criminal organisations will be declared so under the bill.


It is not the intention of the bill to criminalise ordinary associations. These laws will not apply to ordinary groups unless those organisations can be proven to be engaged in serious criminal activity.


I can assure you I would not support legislation that impinged on the ability of the public to associate with each other. People who ride motorcycles, who are not engaged in serious criminal activity will not be affected by this legislation. 


The legislation will be subject to a statutory review after 5 years but as with all legislation, the Parliamentary Commissioner (Ombudsman) is required to monitor the exercise of powers under the act at all times.


I appreciate you taking the time to make your views known to me and trust this offers some clarification of the points you raise.




On behalf of Colin Holt Member for the South West Region



Sam Harma


Research Officer to


Hon. Colin Holt  MLC

Member for the South West


Suite 12A, The Link Shopping Centre
Aberdeen Street

PO Box 5250

(Please direct all mail to the above PO Box address)

Ph: (08) 9841 7144                                          
Fax: (08) 9841 7188

Free call 1800 758 458






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