The Queensland government has been criticised for using its new anti-bikie laws to target pedophiles, with claims it is an attempt to garner popularity.
The Queensland government is trying to win public support for its controversial anti-bikies legislation by using it to target pedophiles, a civil libertarian says.
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O’Gorman has accused Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie of targeting pedophiles to make the unpopular Vicious Lawless Disestablishment Act (VLAD) laws seem more favourable.
His comments come after Mr Bleijie said he had received “frightening” information from Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) boss Ken Levy about pedophile rings.
Mr O’Gorman said the decision to target pedophiles with the legislation, which targets criminal groups in general, was timely given the ruling Liberal National Party (LNP) suffered a 16 per cent swing against it during the weekend’s Redcliffe by-election.
“If the bogey man of the bikie won’t sell the laws for the state government, apply the
sure-fire strategy of a new PR spin that the laws will apply to pedophiles,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“This is the government’s new PR line in the anti-bikie law controversy.”
Mr O’Gorman said Mr Bleijie needed to publicly reveal what information he had about pedophile rings so Queenslanders could determine whether VLAD laws were relevant.
“Why are we now hearing for the first time in the four months the anti-bikie laws have
been in operation that they are aimed at paedophiles as well?” Mr O’Gorman said.
Mr Bleijie said he had always planned to use the laws to target pedophile rings.
“I have repeatedly said that these laws would tackle other criminal groups such as pedophile rings, including in my speech to Parliament when the laws were being debated and in numerous media interviews,” he told AAP in a statement.