Premier Campbell Newman
Premier Campbell Newman Luka Kauzlaric

Newman 'in for the long haul' to shut down gangs

PREMIER Campbell Newman said people "would have to be mad" to be involved with a criminal motorcycle gang after tough new laws were introduced into State Parliament.

Under the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill criminal gang members convicted of certain offences will be declared 'vicious lawless associates' and hit with an extra 15 years mandatory jail time on top of their initial sentence.

There are 69 offences which carry the mandatory sentence including grievous bodily harm, attempted robbery, sexual assault and a host of drug charges.

It will be up to jury members to decide whether a person is classified as a vicious lawless associate.

Convicted criminal gang members who hold a position of office within a criminal organisation will be slapped with a further 10 year mandatory sentence on top of the 15 year sentence for being a vicious lawless associate.

Mr Newman said on Tuesday said the time for talk was now over.

"We are determined to shut these gangs down," he said.

"They are not just designed to contain the gangs, or manage them. . . they are designed to destroy them.

"This will not be quick or easy, but this government is in it for the long haul to shut down these gangs and drive them out of the state

"This is only the beginning."

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie also announced two further bills, the Tattoo Parlours Bill and the Criminal Law (Criminal Gangs Disruption) Amendment Bill, aimed squarely at criminal motorcycle gangs and their members.

"The punishment is deliberately and unapologetically severe because we want to break the bikies, break their enterprise, break their spirit and break up their groups," he said.

"We will give the Crime and Misconduct Commission unprecedented powers to haul in CMG members and question them for intelligence gathering purposes.

"If members do not co-operate, they face mandatory jail time.

"We are sick of the silly little games these thugs play by not talking."

Mr Newman said a special ultra-secure facility at Woodford Correctional Centre will house members of criminal motorcycle gangs as part of the crackdown.

He said in prison criminal motorcycle gang members will face 23 hours per day inside their cells, increased drug testing, frequent cell searches, only one hour non-contact visit per week, no TVs and no access to gymnasium facilities.

"This will be the toughest prison experience anyone will have in Australia while still meeting our international obligations," he said.

"This facility not only gives us the capacity to house these violent criminals, but ensure their activities are closely monitored and controlled 24 hours a day.

"They will do hard time and I make no apologies for that."