Labor’s VLAD inquiry riddled with secrecy after CCC letter redacted in RTI process

· Queensland’s major law enforcement agencies warn of criminal gangs’ return to Queensland
· Labor’s plan to “repeal and replace” law is politically-motived and puts Queenslanders’ safety at risk

Labor’s VLAD taskforce has been exposed as a sham and riddled with secrecy after it was revealed parts of a letter from the Crime and Corruption Commission supporting the LNP’s VLAD laws had been redacted during the Right To Information process.

Shadow Police Minister Jarrod Bleijie said CCC Chairman Alan MacSporran had written to the taskforce warning against Labor’s plans to get rid of the laws, but Labor had hidden it from the public.

“Labor and its VLAD taskforce have kept this enquiry a secret from the start, denying Queenslanders public hearings and refusing to release the CCC’s letter to the taskforce supporting the LNP’s laws to tackle criminal motorcycle gangs,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Mr MacSporran himself agreed to release his letter and 86 other submissions have been released throughout the course of the inquiry, but Labor has kept this letter hidden in fear of the taskforce being exposed for what it is – a complete fraud.

“We now have Queensland’s two top crime fighting agencies warning the Palaszczuk Labor Government, in submissions to the VLAD taskforce, of the dangers of repealing these laws – how many other submissions have Labor and the VLAD taskforce kept secret?

“The Premier has taken her stock-standard “know-nothing, do-nothing, see-nothing” approach to the process, but all the while she’s had a representative from her own department sit on the taskforce.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government campaigned on openness and transparency, so when will the Premier admit she knows more than she’s let on and will she commit to releasing these documents her government has kept secret all this time?”

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the inquiry’s outcome was about the only thing Labor hadn’t kept secret.

“The taskforce undertaking the inquiry was directed to advise the Palaszczuk Labor Government on how to repeal and replace the laws – it’s there in black and white for all to see,” he said.

“Premier Palaszczuk is preparing to roll out the red carpet to criminal motorcycle gangs and put the safety of Queenslanders at risk.

“The whole process has been a political get-square exercise, based on a predetermined outcome rather than on keeping our communities safe.”

Key facts:
· The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act was passed in October 2013.
· In the past 12 months, Taskforce Maxima has taken more than $38 million worth of drugs off Queensland streets.
· The Queensland Police Service has warned repealing the legislation will potentially see criminal organisations, such as the Bandidos, Hells Angels, Finks and Nomads, move back to Queensland.