Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    New and comprehensive laws to target serious organised crime


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Tuesday, August 30, 2016

    New and comprehensive laws to target serious organised crime

    The Palaszczuk Government will target serious organised crime in Queensland with new and comprehensive laws to be introduced to Parliament in a fortnight.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told State Parliament today the legislation was the Government’s response to findings of the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry (Byrne Inquiry), the Taskforce on Organised Crime legislation and the statutory review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009.

    “I committed my Government to keeping Queenslanders safe and that’s why we are tackling serious organised crime, including those involved with child exploitation, boiler-room fraudsters and outlaw criminal motorcycle gangs,” she said.

    “These are strong and robust laws that will target those engaged in serious organised crime.”

    “We will introduce new offences. We will give our police and prosecutors the powers they need. We will increase penalties for existing and new offences.”

    “We need a coordinated approach to tackling serious organised crime in Australia. Queensland will have the most robust laws.”

     Key elements of the Serious and Organised Crime Amendment Bill include:

    •  New offences for child exploitation for people who
    1. administer child exploitation websites
    2. encourage the use of child exploitation websites
    3. provide advice on how to avoid detection in gaining access to child exploitation websites
    • maximum penalty for child exploitation increased from 14 to 20 years; and
    • power for police to seek a warrant to require a person to provide passwords/information to allow access to electronically-stored information;
    • increase maximum sentences for trafficking in illicit drugs with trafficking in dangerous drugs to increase from 20 years to 25 years;
    • new consorting offence making it an offence for a person to consort on two occasions (following a warning on at least one occasion) with two others who have convictions for serious indictable offences punishable;
    • a new Public Safety Order Scheme, consisting of three orders;
    • Public Safety Order - empower police to issue public safety orders for up to seven days. Orders for periods longer than 7 days can be issued by a magistrate. Orders issued for periods longer than 72 hours can be appealed. These orders could be used for a wide variety of purposes;
    • Restricted Premises Order – OMCG clubhouses will remain closed under Restricted Premises Orders. Police can apply to the court for new Restricted Premises Orders to stop new clubhouses opening or to close other premises if there is a reasonable suspicion unlawful or disorderly conduct is occurring or likely to occur. It will empower police to search, seize and forfeit specified property linked to specified activities;
    • Fortification Order – requiring an owner or occupier of premises frequented by participants in criminal organisations or who engage in certain activities to remove any fortification that hinders entry to that property. In urgent circumstances police can issue ‘cease and desist fortification orders’ to prevent, for example, an OMCG installing CCTV or reinforced doors to hinder police access, providing time to remove possible evidence of criminality.
    • new Serious Organised Crime circumstance of aggravation punishable by a mandatory term of imprisonment with the length of the additional mandatory imprisonment will of seven years where it is an offence that carries a maximum offence of seven years or more, or alternatively, where the offence carries a maximum sentence of less than seven years, the maximum sentence for the offence.
    • new Summary Offence prohibiting OMCG colours in public, expanding beyond licensed venues as current laws prohibit.
    •  new Post-Conviction Control Orders enables Court to set any conditions necessary to protect the public by preventing, disrupting and restricting offenders convicted of the new Serious Organised Crime circumstance of aggravation, offenders convicted of the new Consorting offence; and offenders found by the court to be participants in criminal organisations.

    The laws will be introduced into State Parliament in the next sitting week, commencing on 13 September.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the suite of laws was the result of detailed consultation with key stakeholders.

    “The Taskforce Report into the LNP’s Organised Crime Legislation highlighted the myriad of issues caused by its ill-conceived and hastily drafted measures,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “Those laws have proven unable to secure convictions and vulnerable to legal challenge.

    “Stakeholders have has significant input through the Commission of Inquiry and Taskforce Report, and will continue to do so through the proper parliamentary committee process.”

    Minister for Police Bill Byrne said the Palaszczuk Government’s State Budget delivers on the commitment with an additional $39.1 million over four years for the Queensland Police Service to specifically target serious organised crime.

    “During the past 18 months I have been working closely with the Police Commissioner to ensure our police have the resources they need to disrupt and dismantle organised crime in our state,” Minister Byrne said.

    “On top of the $39.1 million we are also delivering an additional $5 million each year for four years for police to target organised crime, alcohol-fuelled violence and ice.

    “The government has also given the office of the Office Director of Public Prosecutions an additional $12 million, which will support an extra 26 staff to help prosecute these laws.

     “Earlier this year, the Premier also announced $3.2 million for Taskforce Orion to specifically target online sharing of child exploitation material.

     “These combined funds deliver a further boost to police resources and give our law enforcement agencies the tools and technology they need to tackle organised crime in all its forms”.

     The current anti-association and clubhouse provisions will be retained for a transitional period of two years.

     Media contact:

    • Kirby Anderson (Premier’s office) 0417 263 791
    • Geoff Breusch (Attorney-General’s office) 0417 272 875
    • Michelle Connolly (Police Minister’s office) 0478 325 738