No free pass for bikies at Anzac Day services in Gladstone
GLADSTONE Anzac Day commemorations are unlikely to become a political farce if bikie groups choose to venture out to local services in their club colours, with police saying they will carry out their duties with due respect of the day.
Capricornia Police District Acting Superintendent David Peff said officers would undertake intelligence gathering operations if bikies presented themselves at memorial services around the region, and said action would be taken against those breaking State Government anti-bikie legislation.
But all respect would be paid to the Anzac Day legacy.
"Obviously we will keep an eye on any activity that's unlawful and we'll gather any intelligence," Acting Supt Peff said.
"We will gather evidence and at an appropriate time take action, but we will maintain due respect (to Anzac Day).
"We will police it with due respect of the day."
But Acting Supt Peff could not promise there would be no police intervention if bikies were present at services and marches.
He made it clear that in the highly unlikely event of a situation turning violent or posing a risk to members of the public, especially due to bikie involvement, officers would be obligated to step in.
"If we end up with something that needs intervention for the greater good of the community, of course we'll intervene, but the main thing will be respect for the day," he said.
With more than 9000 people expected to turn out to the services operating throughout the greater Gladstone region, Gladstone RSL Sub-Branch secretary Peter Young made it clear all were welcome to come and pay their respects, regardless of their background or beliefs.
"We are not politically persuaded. Everyone is welcome," Mr Young said.
"If anyone wants to cause trouble, they will be subject to the same laws as everyone else."
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart earlier this week said any speculation that police were planning to disrupt Anzac Day marches to target particular groups, including organised criminal gangs, was simply not true.
The Queensland Opposition earlier this year claimed ex-servicemen who were members of outlaw motorcycle gangs could be arrested on Anzac Day under the tough new VLAD legislation introduced last year.
Commissioner Stewart said Queenslanders could be assured officers were committed to ensuring Anzac Day events were conducted in a manner which honoured the ultimate sacrifice made by servicemen and women in conflicts across the world.