The Queensland premier says he doesn’t like his government’s new bikie laws, but they’re necessary – for now.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says he doesn’t like his own government’s tough anti-bikie laws.
But he says they’re necessary for now and must, by law, be reviewed within three years of their introduction.
“The parliament has to look at these laws (within three years) and decide if they should still be there,” Mr Newman told 4BC Radio on Monday.
“I don’t particularly like them. That may surprise you. I have said this to a few journalists and various editors … I’ve said, ‘I don’t particularly like having to do this’.”
He said he was on record, in 2012, rejecting calls to follow NSW and ban bikies from wearing club colours.
“What changed is a woman being shot in Robina while going about innocent business on a weekend,” he said.
“What changed for me was seeing the signs of a riot on the Gold Coast on a Friday night. What changed for me is what happened in Sydney airport where they hunted a guy down to kill him in the airport.”
The laws, which came into effect in October, have declared a number of bikie clubs as criminal gangs and include mandatory jail terms and increased penalties for bikie gang members and associates.
They include a presumption against bail for alleged bikie members. The laws also give police greater powers to pull over and search suspected bikie members.
Mr Newman says that since the crackdown began, armed robberies on the Gold Coast have almost halved.
His comments came as footage of police intercepting a man who belongs to a social motorcycle club went viral.
Jamie Edward Evans has posted online footage of police quizzing him about his clothes, associations, friends and line of work after he was pulled over at a Brisbane service station.
He says he’s been pulled over 21 times since the crackdown began, and there’s nothing criminal about his membership of a social rider group called the Misfits.
The footage has been viewed more than 246,000 times since it was posted on social media on Saturday.
On Monday, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart again apologised if any recreational riders had been inconvenienced.
But he said most people in the community supported the crackdown.
Premier Campbell Newman said he had seen some of the video and he believed the officers were courteous and friendly.
He said five police cars being called as back up is an operational matter.
“These laws are directed at a number of designated criminal gangs,” he said.
He said they were declared criminal gangs based on information from the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and other agencies.
“These criminal gangs are very well resourced and well-funded,” he said.
“Why? Because they sell drugs to our kids.
“Honest Queenslanders have nothing to fear.”
Meanwhile, Mr Newman said during the Christmas period he was pulled over for a random breath test interstate.
“The police officer instantly knew who I was and thought it was a great joke he had pulled over the Premier of Queensland,” he said.
“I’ve got no complaints. People are pulled over every day of the week.”
He said his reading was zero.