Newman's claims ironic: Fitzgerald figure
A SENIOR figure in the Fitzgerald inquiry says the premier's likening of his bikie crackdown to the historic corruption probe is ironic.
Gary Crooke is a former Queensland integrity commissioner and was senior counsel assisting the Fitzgerald inquiry into corruption in the state in the 1980s.
He says Premier Campbell Newman's claim on Thursday that his crackdown on bikies and sex offenders is in the same vein as Tony Fitzgerald's war against corruption is ironic.
He says the premier's new laws targeting bikie gangs and sex offenders introduce unheard of, draconian penalties.
"It is an irony because what the Fitzgerald inquiry had to grapple with was a government that was just heedless of any fundamental rights," he told ABC radio.
"If it wanted to do things it would push ahead no matter what."
Mr Newman told parliament Queensland was facing a similar situation today with criminal gangs, as it was in the 1980s with corruption.
"We have a similar situation today. Not in government, not in public administration, but with criminal gang activity within our state," he told parliament.
"We are going to fight back. That's what this is all about."
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said Queenslanders would one day applaud Mr Newman for being courageous, just like Mr Fitzgerald.
"They will be saying in 25 years that this premier, this government has the guts and the determination to rid this state of criminal gangs once and for all," he told parliament.
Bikers asked to give police notice of rides
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/bikers-asked-to-give-police-notice-of-rides-20131031-2wm1l.html#ixzz2jeX8bKYM
Queensland Police want recreational motorcycle riders to give them a call before heading out on the roads, to avoid law-abiding citizens being “harassed” by police.
The proposal was discussed at a private meeting between Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey, senior police and rider groups including the Australian Motorcycle Council, which represents recreational riders and outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Authorities and the council spent more than an hour thrashing out issues surrounding the government's tough new bikie laws at Parliament House on Thursday.
Outlaw clubs – such as the Hells Angels and the Bandidos – were not invited.
AMC spokeswoman Eva Cripps said there had been a “huge escalation” of recreational riders being pulled over and unnecessarily searched by police in the last three weeks
Police say they know who the [outlaw club] members are, yet they find it difficult to identify them because they don't wear their colours any more. The only option is to pull over all riders,” she said.
Ms Cripps said the council was fundamentally against the idea of riders needing to inform police before heading out in groups, but said fed-up clubs were likely to support the scheme.
“The clubs will let the police know what they're doing to stop the harassment... We're quite concerned about the fact that people riding a legal form of transport have to report into police to stop themselves being harassed,” she said.
Mr Dempsey said the meeting between authorities and the AMC was productive.
He said the finer points of the notification scheme were yet to be worked out, but flagged the possibility of clubs being able to use the internet to register rides with police.
“I think there is going to be a greater interaction and greater understanding of legal motorcycle groups and associate clubs in the future,” Mr Dempsey said.
“These aren't the people that we are targeting. We are targeting the criminal gangs and thugs, and we make no apologies. We're going hard, we're going fast, and we're going to go further than ever before in relation to getting rid of these parasites on the streets of Queensland.”
Deputy Queensland Police Commissioner Brett Pointing, the head of the state-wide Operation Resolve, said most officers had a “limited knowledge” of legitimate motorcycle groups.
“One of the strategies gang members have used is to de-identify themselves straight away and that's meant we've had to undertake many interceptions throughout Queensland,” he said.
They are fucking idiots truly