Home Rides  Events Tech Links

Liberals to ban some bikie colours as part of a 'war on ice'


Liberal seems to be a very misused word with this party...

By Georgie Burgess

Bikies wear colours on their backs to identify the groups they belong to.

ABC News: Tim Morgan
Outlaw bikie gangs will be banned from wearing club colours in public if they engage in illegal activity, under a Liberal election promise to cut down on the scourge of the drug ice.

Under a policy touted as the "war on ice", Liberal leader Will Hodgman said that if re-elected, the party would introduce laws to proscribe gang members from wearing club insignia, arguing they use it to intimidate and influence people, as well as for recruiting and promoting the club.

"Ninety-nine per cent of people on motorbikes in our state are law abiding, and simply love getting on the back of their bike and enjoying our state," Mr Hodgman said.

"But we know outlaw motorcycle gangs bring with them a range of criminal activity, and more often than not they are heavily involved in the illicit trade of ice.

"We are determined to come like a tonne of bricks on anyone who will trade in illicit drugs, especially ice."

Under the plan, the police commissioner would provide advice to the police minister as to whether there was intelligence that a gang had engaged in illegal activity.

The Police Minister would then table legislation in Parliament "proscribing" a club from wearing colours.

Clubs would be under pressure to expel members convicted of criminal offences.

Liberal police spokesman Rene Hidding would not name particular gangs that could be affected.

"In Tasmania, we have ice in the community in ways that are deeply concerning," Mr Hidding said.

"It is important that we get at the base level of this, which is the distribution and sale of the product.

"Police intelligence strongly shows that this is carried out by certain outlaw motorcycle gangs."

Mr Hidding said the policy tackled the recruitment of gang members and dealers.

"Their way of doing business is to go into public places, pubs and clubs, wearing their colours and intimidating and recruiting young people," he said.

"The way to recruit an ice dealer in Tasmania is pretty easy, you just need to get them to take the first hit and then sadly the addiction is so vicious that that person needs to buy more."

Police union backs colours ban

Police Association president Pat Allen said tough bikie laws elsewhere in Australia were resulting in gangs moving into Tasmania.

"We're suddenly getting an influx of outlaw motorcycle gangs moving in, we don't want Tasmania open for business for them," Mr Allen said.

"If you're selling ice and you're a member of an outlaw gang, then they are just not welcome here.

"The colours are intimidatory, when they walk into a pub all coloured up it's intimidation, so take their colours off them."

Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the Liberals had "manifestly" failed on drug prevention.

"We need to be in there at the ground level working with people who are addicted or at risk of addiction providing early intervention and better treatment facilities and that is something the liberals have manifestly failed to do," Ms O'Connor said.

"If the Liberals are serious about dealing with the scourge of ice they won't be tinkering around the edges like this," she said.