The Rebel bikie group were stopped by Police at the top of the Toowoomba Range for random checks. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
The Rebel bikie group were stopped by Police at the top of the Toowoomba Range for random checks. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

Four questions the government 'can't answer' on bikie laws

THE Attorney General's office can't give direct answers to four questions put to it on how Queensland's new anti-bikie laws work.

Acting Attorney General David Crisafulli has instead  given an assurance a "common sense approach" to the laws will prevail, with police required to have supporting evidence and intelligence before charging anyone with any offence.

Four questions were sent to Mr Crisafulli late last week, posing hypothetical situations involving present or past outlaw motorcycle gang members, under which they or others could conceivably be arrested.

> DON'T DITCH THE BIKIE LAWS - JUST FIX THEM

However, a spokesman for Mr Crisafulli said the department could not respond directly to the questions as it was not allowed to give legal advice.

The questions were representative of the type being asked by readers in response to APN stories on bikie laws, including an open letter to Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie and his open letter in response.

Many contributors have complained  they are not aware under which situations they might be breaking the law by associating with past or present outlaw motorcycle club members.

The situations put to Mr Crisafulli were:

  • I am married to a member of an OMC. My two brothers are also members. It is my brother's birthday. Can I celebrate it over a meal at the local pub with my husband and two brothers? If not, do I run the risk of being arrested or only the other three?
  • I employ  two members of an OMC and one former member. Can they all work in my shop at the same time?
  • Three members of our church are former OMC members. They each walked away from their clubs over the past five years and  have turned their lives around. Can they technically or actually be arrested for being at church together and are all members of the church at risk of being deemed associates?
  • I have two acquaintances who are fairly rough. I'm not sure  whether they are OMC members and don't really want to ask them. If I see them and another of their mates at the pub, can I be arrested for having a chat or a drink with them if it turns out they are gang members?

Instead of answering the questions individually, Mr Crisafulli responded with a three-paragraph statement:

"These laws target only people who knowingly participate in criminal organisations. A participant is a person who is either involved by membership or association in the activities of a criminal organisation or seeks to be involved. In other words, the law applies a practical and common sense test on association and participation

"The laws passed by the Parliament make it clear that only people who knowingly involve themselves with the dealings of criminal organisations will be subject to our laws.

"Police require supporting evidence and intelligence before charging anyone with any offence."



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