Bev Lacey

Anti-organised crime laws pass, make VLAD obsolete

NEW laws tackling organised crime will replace the former LNP Government's anti-bikie laws, after Labor was able to swing the support of crossbenchers overnight.

The laws will broaden the scope of the LNP's anti-bikie laws to also target child exploitation rings and financial fraud.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk claims the laws will be the toughest of their kind in Australia.

"These laws are strong enough to tackle serious and organised crime, and strong enough to withstand legal challenge."

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the former government's VLAD laws were susceptible to challenge and was unable to secure convictions.

"Importantly, these laws are subject to judicial oversight and proper processes to ensure its legal standing and sustainability."

The laws also have the support of the Queensland Police Union, which had been cautious about changes to the laws.

Members of Katter's Australian Party were wary of the changes, fearing that law-abiding riders may be targeted.

Ultimately the laws were passed late last night.

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker described the laws as a "political solution" despite there being no problem with the laws.

He also pointed to the fact that Ms Palazczuk voted to support the LNP's VLAD laws while she was in Opposition.


The Serious and Organised Crime Amendment Bill includes:

 New offences for child exploitation for people who:

1.            administer child exploitation websites;

2.            encourage the use of child exploitation websites; or

3.            provide advice on how to avoid detection in gaining access to child exploitation websites.

•             Maximum penalty for child exploitation increased from 14 to 20 years; and

•             Power for police to seek a warrant to require a person to provide passwords/information to allow access to electronically-stored information.

•             Increase maximum sentences for trafficking in illicit drugs with trafficking in dangerous drugs to increase from 20 years to 25 years.

•             A new consorting offence making it an offence for a person to consort on two occasions (following a warning on at least one occasion) with two others who have convictions for serious indictable offences punishable.

A new Public Safety Order Scheme, consisting of three orders:

1. Public Safety Order - empower police to issue public safety orders for up to seven days. Orders for periods longer than 7 days can be issued by a magistrate. Orders issued for periods longer than 72 hours can be appealed. These orders could be used for a wide variety of purposes;

2. Restricted Premises Order - OMCG clubhouses will remain closed under Restricted Premises Orders. Police can apply to the court for new Restricted Premises Orders to stop new clubhouses opening or to close other premises if there is a reasonable suspicion unlawful or disorderly conduct is occurring or likely to occur. It will empower police to search, seize and forfeit specified property linked to specified activities;

3. Fortification Order - requiring an owner or occupier of premises frequented by participants in criminal organisations or who engage in certain activities to remove any fortification that hinders entry to that property. In urgent circumstances police can issue 'cease and desist fortification orders' to prevent, for example, an OMCG installing CCTV or reinforced doors to hinder police access, providing time to remove possible evidence of criminality.

•             New Serious Organised Crime circumstance of aggravation punishable by a mandatory term of imprisonment, with the length of the additional mandatory imprisonment of seven years where it is an offence that carries a maximum offence of seven years or more. Or alternatively, where the offence carries a maximum sentence of less than seven years, the maximum sentence for the offence.

•             New Summary Offence prohibiting OMCG colours in public, expanding beyond licensed venues as current laws prohibit.

•             New Post-Conviction Control Orders enables Courts to set any conditions necessary to protect the public by preventing, disrupting and restricting offenders convicted of the new Serious Organised Crime circumstance of aggravation, offenders convicted of the new Consorting offence; and offenders found by the court to be participants in criminal organisations.

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