Queensland civil libertarians are questioning whether the state’s new anti-bikie laws can work.
They expect a flood of court challenges, but the government is pressing ahead with its tough stance despite drawing criticism from bike retailers.
Nicholas Chin reports.
As the clock approached three this morning, Australia’s toughest bikie laws were finally passed through Queensland Parliament.
The legislation is aimed at destroying criminal bikie gangs, but Queensland’s general motorcycling community fears it may also fall victim to the laws.
Shane Endicott, Motorcyle retailer: “It’s just not fair that we’re all branded with the same laws because of the few that are out there.”
Motorcycle shop owner Shane Endicott says the push to introduce these laws is a waste of taxpayer’s money.
Shane Endicott, Motorcyle retailer: “For the amount of money they’re injecting into this at this point in time, I think it’s absolutely disgusting.”
Mr Endicott says the local motorcycle community has been put off and its hurting the industry.
Shane Endicott, Motorcyle retailer: “We’ve seen a little bit of a slow in sales, obviously already and we’ve has a lot of people walking in saying perhaps I should sell my bike?”
However the Attorney-General says the tough stance targets outlaw gangs and has been approved by both sides of Government.
Jarrod Bleijie, Attorney-General: “One minute they’re supporting tough measures, next minute they’re wanting a talk fest on the Gold Coast, and when push came to shove, they supported the legislation.”
But some politicians aren’t so happy.
Shane Knuth, Katter’s Australian Party MP: “This forced and rushed legislation, it was just a stunt by the Newman government.”
The new laws will be tested here in the courts.
Bikies will be banned from owning and operating tattoo parlours, and the Attorney-General says other industries could follow suit.
Those industries include bikies who work as security, gym and used-car staff.
Nicholas Chin, QUT News.