· Gold Coast residents fearful of bikie return as Labor’s watered-down criminal gang laws are set to be debated in State Parliament next week
· 68 criminal gang members and associates are currently serving time in prison on 454 charges, including murder, assaults, drug offences, break and enter and motor vehicle offences – a further 33 are remanded in custody awaiting court
· Under the LNP, Queensland had the strongest criminal gang laws in the country and they were working
Gold Coast residents are bracing for a bikie comeback less than a week before the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s watered-down criminal gang laws will be debated in Queensland Parliament.
Shadow Police Minister and acting Shadow Attorney-General Tim Mander said newly released Government data showed 101 people, both alleged and convicted criminal gang members and associates, were currently serving time in Queensland prisons – proof that the LNP’s strong criminal gang laws were cleaning up our streets.
“The Gold Coast has been the epicentre of bikie activity in Queensland and residents are terrified that Labor’s laws will open the door for their return,” Mr Mander said.
“In the past, criminal gangs thought they could run this city, openly causing fear and intimidation in cafes and shopping centres, leaving families and children fearing for their lives.
“Just yesterday we learnt that Taskforce Maxima and the Australian Border Force had busted an illegal weapons factory and drug laboratory in Nerang, leading to the arrest of five people.
“We can see that the current laws are working – with Government data showing 68 charged bikie members or associates are serving time in prison on 454 charges.
“These people have been charged with murder, drug offences, break and enter, unlawful use of motor vehicle and assault offences – to name a few.
“On top of this, a further 33 alleged gang members and associates have been remanded in custody facing charges.
Mr Mander said the LNP’s laws gave police stronger powers and more resources to investigate criminal organisations – and the results were clear.
“Under the LNP, Queensland had the strongest criminal gang laws in the country – they were backed by every other mainland state and some even followed our lead,” Mr Mander said.
“If Labor’s laws are passed in Parliament next week, bikie clubhouses will reopen, bikies will be allowed to carry weapons and they will once again be free to run licensed premises.
“Gold Coast residents deserve more than this soft-on-crime Labor Government that refuses to put them first.”