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Taskforce Maxima calls 'mission accomplished' against bikies


TANGLED weeds, overgrown yards and padlocked gates are signs of five empty bikie clubhouses on the Sunshine Coast.

The Rebels, Black Uhlans and Bandidos were all forced out of their headquarters when police cracked down on their criminal motorcycle gang activities, armed with tough new anti-bikie legislation.

Police say it has been a change for the better for the entire Coast community.

Taskforce Maxima was established in October 2013 with new laws in response to a vicious bikie street brawl on the Gold Coast and several earlier shootings.

The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act was introduced to show bikies that as a participant of a criminal organisation they would be sentenced to more jail time than an ordinary citizen if found guilty of the same crimes.

Across the state, 26 bikie groups were declared "criminal organisations" under changes to the century-old criminal code.


The addition of the Criminal Organisations Disruptions Law to the code brought about rules that meant three or more members of a so-called criminal gang could not be together in a public place.

Members were banned from clubhouses and the recruiting of new members into the criminal gang was not allowed.

The taskforce was formed under the edict of Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and heralded as the squad to "disrupt, dismantle and eliminate criminal motorcycle gangs" from Queensland.

The team of 90 dedicated police officers in Taskforce Maxima have arrested 1691 gang members and their close associates with 4668 charges laid in the past 14 months.

OUT OF ACTION: The abandoned Rebels Nambour Chapter

OUT OF ACTION: The abandoned Rebels Nambour Chapter

Of those charges, 41% were for serious criminal offences including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, serious assault, torture, drug trafficking and armed robbery.

The taskforce investigations built to a crescendo last month when officers from the Sunshine Coast Gang Squad arrested the national president of the Bandidos on fraud and stealing charges.

Detective Acting Superintendent, central region Bruce McNab, believed criminals had used the guise of a motorcycle club to mask their illegal activities. He said the clubhouses played a major role in the organisation of those criminal activities to formulate plans.

Labelling the bikies as "grubs" who intimidated each other and the public, Det Acting Supt McNab said the Sunshine Coast had seen enough of their exploits.

"Things were not out of control in the central region (which includes the Sunshine Coast), but we would be in a dire position in 10 years if we didn't have this legislation," he said.

"These criminal gangs were using their clubhouses as recruiting places to bring along new members to discuss criminal activities and how to expand their plans.

The Black Uhlans Sunshine Coast Chapter’s clubhouse sits locked up and abandoned in Eumundi.

The Black Uhlans Sunshine Coast Chapter’s clubhouse sits locked up and abandoned in Eumundi.

"They portrayed themselves to the public as happy-go-lucky members of the community, doing toy runs for sick kids and things like that, but what they were really doing was using their clubhouses to mask their criminality.

"What these laws have also done is prevent these gangs moving in large groups around the community, standing over other drivers on the road.

"Sunshine Coast residents deserve to live in a safe place and so do the people holidaying here and they never deserved to be disrupted by these criminal gangs roaring around the streets intimidating every one."

Four of the five Sunshine Coast bikie clubhouses are abandoned because of the anti-bikie laws.

Gang members are deemed to have committed a crime if they set foot on properties listed as known bikie haunts.

The Caloundra Bandidos clubhouse remains open but the property has been leased to a Mosaic Art Studio - a vast change for the building once emblazoned in club colours.

Police said more than half of the Queensland-wide criminal motorcycle gang participants had been arrested at least once.

Det Acting Supt McNab said bikie-related drug arrests had made a significant dent in the mass structures of drug trafficking on the Sunshine Coast.

"The changes have certainly affected the organised criminality on the Coast, but we do realise that may not have stopped CMG participants from trafficking drugs entirely," Det Acting Supt McNab said.

"But over the next few years, we will see more of these guys getting locked up and the next two years will be very telling in reduction in drug crimes."

The Rebels have abandoned their clubhouse in Kunda Park.

The Rebels have abandoned their clubhouse in Kunda Park.

Police said domestic violence support services meant women had felt more confident to file reports of abuse without the intimidation of the club members.

Police have accused the criminal motorcycle gangs of using a public relations machine to gain public sympathy during the crackdown.

Taskforce Maxima Detective Inspector Terry Lawrence firmly stood by the police stance that the new laws had not sent bikies underground. Under the legislation clubhouses are listed as "prescribed places". Any bikies found to be gathering in groups at a private residence could see their homes listed as a "prescribed place" and be evicted under the laws.

"The legislation means criminal motorcycle gangs can no longer gather in groups, they can't go into clubhouses and they can't physically intimidate people in the public eye," Det Insp Lawrence said.

"It has been proven that the clubhouses were places where they would meet, make plans and put those criminal plans into action.

"The clubs also created drama between each other which we saw with clubs being burnt down across the state, allegations of rape, assaults, thefts.

"Now that physical presence is not there anymore. They don't have that out-of-the-eye location anymore such as in industrial estates where they can plan their criminal activities.

"We are patrolling the ex-clubhouses daily."

The Taskforce Maxima team is based in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, but travels the state to tackle bikie-related issues.

In the execution of search warrants detectives have uncovered drugs, cash, weapons and ammunition.

"I don't think we will ever see a place where criminals don't exist unfortunately, but this legislation brings us a lot closer," Det Insp Lawrence said.

Taskforce Maxima

317 criminal motorcycle gang participants have disassociated via affidavit, QPS form or verbally.

As at November 29, there were about 1581 CMG participants in Queensland.

Since Taskforce Maxima started, 1691 CMG participants have been arrested with 4668 charges.

41% of CMG charges have been serious criminal offences including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, serious assault, burglary, arson and money laundering.

All 12 bikie clubhouses in the central region (Whitsundays, Mackay, Rockhampton, Emerald, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Gympie and Sunshine Coast) are no longer used by CMG participants.

79 CMG members or their associates have been arrested with 180 charges.