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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Needham appointed as watchdog under anti-organised crime laws

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Needham appointed as watchdog under anti-organised crime laws

    Respected lawyer and former Crime and Misconduct Commission chair Robert Needham has been appointed as the public interest watchdog under Queensland’s laws targeting criminal organisations.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick said Mr Needham’s appointment marked the final step in the implementation of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009, which seeks to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs in Queensland.

    “The appointment of Mr Needham completes a nation-wide recruitment process that started in January this year,” Mr Dick said.

    “Mr Needham has had a distinguished career in the law in Queensland, including a five-year stint as CMC chair which ended last year and as counsel assisting the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s.

    “He will now fulfil an important role in the operation of the Criminal Organisation Act by monitoring applications made to the Supreme Court by police for orders to be issued against alleged criminal organisations.

    “As an independent lawyer, he will represent the public interest and help the court by testing applications made by the police.”

    Mr Dick said Mr Needham’s appointment was a major plank in the government’s fight against organised crime gangs.

    “We do not want organised crime gangs to become established here and the full implementation of the new Act is just one of the measures the government is adopting to tackle organised crime,” he said.

    “As well as introducing the Criminal Organisation Act last year, the government has also allocated $14 million over four years to the CMC for phone tapping, boosting its capacity for fighting organised crime.

    “In this year’s State Budget, we have increased the CMC’s budget allocation by a further $4 million over four years to support its core activities such as combating organised crime.

    “We have also strengthened the laws to recover ill-gotten proceeds from criminals, and we are currently consulting key stakeholders on the effectiveness of our recent proceeds-of-crime reforms with a view to strengthening them further if necessary.

    “Organised crime gangs are not welcome in Queensland – and our laws make this abundantly clear.”

    Media contact:
    Office of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations 3239 3487