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Fashion police: new Queensland laws continue Australia’s misguided war on bikies

Terry Goldsworthy writes in The Conversation (16.9.16) about the state government’s new criminal gang laws, which the author argues misdirects police attention too heavily and too visibly on motorcycle clubs and their associates.

‘The Queensland government has revealed proposed new laws to combat bikies. This is in response to Labor’s election promise to review the former Newman government’s anti-bikie laws. The new legislation proposes to ban the wearing of all gang colours in public, marking an Australian first.

‘But what will these laws achieve? And is the threat real or perceived?

‘… The devil is in the detail. The government says even if the new laws are passed, the existing laws will remain in place for two years – possibly until after the next state election. This will allow the government to claim it did “something” about the unpopular existing laws, but that by bringing in its own laws it is also tough on crime.

‘In any case, like those that preceded them, these proposed laws may just end up being window-dressing. Existing offences and investigative powers are more than sufficient to deal with the threat of organised crime and criminal elements in the bikies.’

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