Queensland Labor has promised to set up a commission of inquiry into organised crime and create a taskforce to review the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) anti-bikie laws.
With just two days until Queenslanders go to the polls, Labor has come out and announced it will tackle these issues head-on, which have cause much controversy across the state.
Releasing Labor’s long-awaited law and order policy in Gladstone Thursday morning, Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk backed away from her longstanding promise to repeal the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act.
Labor would instead set up a taskforce consisting of members of the Law Society, Bar Association and Queensland Police Union to review the VLAD legislation.
This would bring forward the mandated review of the laws from 2016 as part of what Ms Palaszczuk called an “unprecedented” attack on all aspects of organised crime.
She said the taskforce would spend the rest of 2015 conducting the review and she admitted it was possible aspects of the VLAD laws would be kept in place.
“We are keeping the existing laws until we listen to the expert advice,” she said.
The VLAD laws had not resulted in a single conviction, with criminal motorcycle gangs thus far targeted under the Drugs Misuse Act and the criminal code, Ms Palaszcuk said.
“That is why I want to put in place workable laws and we will listen to the experts. Something that the LNP Government has failed to do over the last three years – that is, listen to expert advice.”
She said Labor would create a new offence of “serious organised crime” that would attract a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Ms Palaszczuk said this would be applied to offences such as money laundering, internet fraud, drug trafficking and child sex offences.
Labor to ‘clamp down’ on organised crime
Labor would also match the LNP’s promise to hire 300 new police officers, and would devote $20 million over four years to “tackling organised crime” and another $5 million for extra police equipment.
“I have said from the very beginning that Labor’s policy in relation to outlaw motorcycle gangs is zero tolerance,” she said.
“We will not waver in our bid to crack down on the pervasive nature of organised crime.
“Labor’s policy will clamp down on outlaw motorcycle gangs, but also zero in on other elements of organised crime, especially those producing and distributing dangerous drugs.”
Ms Palaszczuk said Labor had allowed $6 million to cover the cost of its commission of inquiry.
– with ABC