Tough new laws to combat criminal gangs

Published Monday, 30 September, 2013 at 02:51 PM


Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

Acting Premier
The Honourable Jeff Seeney

Members of organised crime groups will face mandatory penalties, bans and losing their bikes or vehicles under tough legislation planned for Queensland.

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney said Cabinet today approved a range of new measures to tackle crime gangs.

“We will do whatever is necessary to ensure Queenslanders are protected”, Mr Seeney said.

“New legislation will be fast-tracked to tackle what these people do, where they go and who they fraternise with.”

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the amendments would send a loud and clear message to criminal groups that they are not welcome in Queensland.

 “We have drawn a line in the sand and said enough is enough.

“Under our proposed anti-racketeering laws, members of criminal organisations will face mandatory prison sentences if they are convicted of serious offences.

“Among the mandatory penalties would be a minimum one year in prison for serious assault of a police officer.

“Their pride and joy won’t be safe either, with their motorbikes or other vehicles confiscated.

“Recent events have proved that certain groups have no regard for the Queensland public.

“By restricting their movements and operations, the community is protected and it prevents these groups from running their criminal enterprises.”

Proposed bans for gang members include:

·         Gathering in groups

·         Attending specific locations

·         Wearing club colours inside licensed venues, including pubs, nightclubs and restaurants

·         Owning, operating or working in tattoo parlours

·         Promoting or recruiting for their organisation.

“Elements of these laws have worked in other states and overseas and they will further strengthen the Newman Government’s already tough record on crime,” Mr Bleijie said.

“We will also review Queensland’s existing criminal organisation legislation to see if further improvements can be made there.

“With these laws working in conjunction with the police crackdown, Queensland will become the most difficult place to conduct organised crime in Australia.”

The Newman Government has already introduced the following measures to deal with crime:

·         Mandatory minimum sentencing for the possession and trafficking of firearms

·         Doubled penalty for assault on a police officer, and introduced minimum mandatory non parole period of 25 years for the murder of a police officer

·         Significantly increased police numbers across the State, including the South East region

·         Tougher penalties for drug trafficking

·         Toughest unexplained wealth laws in the country.

[ENDS] 30 September 2013

Media Contact: Ashley McDermid 0412 731 355 or Katherine Hornbuckle 0402 862 351