Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Bill 2013

17 Oct 2013 2:06 PMMichael Hart


Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (10.00 pm): Can I start by thanking the member for Dalrymple for wasting 11 minutes of my life and everybody else’s time with the drivel that just came out of his mouth.

Mr KNUTH: I rise to a point of order. I find that offensive and I ask the member to withdraw it. I have heard drivel all night. I ask him to withdraw that.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I apologise. I did not hear the comment, but the member has found it offensive and asked that you withdraw it. Please withdraw.

Mr HART: I withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker. We have just heard from the member for Dalrymple for 11 minutes, but I do not think we heard whether he was supporting the legislation or not. I hope the Attorney-General took notice of his advice that he will be moving an amendment. We did not actually hear what that amendment might be. I am sure it will come out in the fullness of time once they have thought about it a bit more.

Hooray that at last we have a Premier and an Attorney-General who have the intestinal fortitude to do something about these criminals. Something had to be done about these criminals. One can completely disregard the comments that the member for Dalrymple made about there being no issue in North Queensland. There may not be an issue in North Queensland but I can tell members that there is an issue in South-East Queensland. There is an issue in my electorate of Burleigh. I have Hells Angels, Black Uhlans, some Bandidos and some Finks in my electorate. I have a little bit of everything down there and they cause trouble. We needed to do something about this. For years and years, as we heard from the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Rockhampton, the Labor Party attempted to do something about this. Typical of the Labor Party they started in 2009 with their anti-association laws and what good did they do? Did it stop the 60-odd Bandidos who went to a restaurant in Broadbeach on 27 September and pulled two people out of that restaurant and started attacking them? Did it stop the Finks and the Bandidos from having a fight at Nobby Beach a week after that? No, it did not, because it did not work. That is why we had members in this House in previous years who spoke against the Labor Party’s anti-association laws. They spoke against it because quite simply they were not going to work. Those people on this side of the House now knew that that was not going to work.

It is not acceptable to me or the members of my electorate that these people can thumb their nose at authority as they did in Broadbeach on 27 September when they pulled these people out of the restaurant and attacked them and then went to the Southport Watch-house and tried to intimidate the police there into releasing their comrades in arms. I fully commend the Premier and the Attorney-General for taking the action that they did.

This is not about people who ride motorbikes; this is about criminals. It is not about people with tattoos; this is about criminals. It is not about people who associate together, it is not about rotary clubs; this is about criminals. This is all about criminals. I stood for election to try to make a difference. That is what I am here for. This legislation is probably the biggest difference we are going to make in this parliament in our lifetime. This legislation will make a difference to the people of my electorate, to the people of Burleigh and hopefully eventually to the rest of the people of Australia. If we can stop these people from their criminal activity, if we can stop them from associating together, if we can stop them from attacking our citizens on the street, if we can make the people of our electorates feel safe in their homes, feel safe in the parks and feel safe in restaurants when they go out at night, then we have really achieved something and we are to be congratulated.

I am happy to admit that I have ridden a motorbike for the majority of my life. I started when I was a young apprentice riding trail bikes. I then moved up to bigger road bikes. I have ridden motorbikes for a lot of my life. I am sure that most of the members in the House can get a picture of me riding on a motorbike, my long hair flowing in the wind.

A government member: Don’t mislead the House!

Mr HART: Believe you me, I am not misleading the House. When I was a much younger man I actually had an afro. My wife can attest to that. It was a lot of trouble putting a bike helmet on because I had an afro. I am getting away from the point.

Mr Gibson: I want to see photographs of that.

Mr HART: I have photographs to prove it and I have photographs to prove that I rode motorbikes for a number of years.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I can hardly hear the member for Burleigh over the noise in the chamber. Please respect the member for Burleigh so that we can hear his contribution.

Mr HART: Thank you for your protection, Madam Deputy Speaker. In previous years I have thought about joining something like the Ulysses motorbike group. They are a group of gentlemen who enjoy riding motorbikes.

Mr Choat: A great club.

Mr HART: I take the interjection from the member for Ipswich West. They are a great bunch of people who go out on the weekend to enjoy themselves on their motorbikes. They are not criminals. We are here tonight to take action against criminals. I am not really sure what it is that the opposition and the cross benches cannot see about this. This is action against criminals. These people have no respect for our way of life. They have no respect for anybody else. They have no respect for the people in the restaurants. They have no respect for our children in the parks. They have no respect for anything. That is something that we need to fix in this state: the lack of respect that one person has for other people. We maybe need to start this in our schools with our children having respect for their teachers and their elders. This is what leads to people in these criminal motorcycle gangs having no respect for our policemen. I remember when I was a young man and I went to police citizens youth clubs, the first thing that would be done if you stepped out of line was to throw you in a boxing ring with someone who was 10 years older than you in a pair of gloves and you learned your lesson pretty quickly. Sometimes I think it is a real shame that we cannot do those sorts of things any more. I actually lament the fact that we do not have caning in our schools any more.

An opposition member interjected.

Mr HART: That is another subject. I already hear the goody-two-shoes Labor Party over there starting to moan and groan about it so I will move on. As can be seen by the pictures in the newspapers, these people are pumped up on steroids. That fries your brain. One can see quite clearly they are not thinking. Their brains are fried. They are out there causing havoc.

There are three bills before the House and I fully support all of them. The first bill is the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill which is to deter individuals from participating in criminal organisations. It provides for an extra penalty for those convicted of declared offences. Obviously that is a serious offence. Those declared offences are listed in the legislation.

The bill introduces extra penalties for members of criminal motorcycle gangs who hold officer bearer positions. That has to be a massive deterrent to some of the idiots who are the sergeants at arms, the presidents, the vice presidents and those people who hold a position that enables them to send somebody out to act like a thug in our areas. There was a prime example of that in my electorate when the president of a motorcycle group assaulted a lifeguard who was on duty on the beach at Burleigh. In the course of doing his job, that man apparently chipped a person. She reported that to her boyfriend who came down to the beach and thumped the lifeguard. That is not on. We will not put up with that sort of rubbish in our electorates.

Tonight we are also talking about the Tattoo Parlours Bill. There are multiple tattoo parlours in my electorate.

Miss Barton: Do you have a tattoo?

Mr HART: No, member for Broadwater, I do not have any tattoos, but I do not intend to prove that I do not have any tattoos. As I said, there are multiple tattoo parlours in my electorate. Two of those tattoo parlours have been fire bombed. I have had to tell people in my electorate that if one more tattoo parlour is fire bombed, there will be no tattoo parlours left. Most people would be pretty upset about that.

This legislation bans patch members from attending licensed premises. I have one question for the Attorney-General: recently on the TV we have seen an idiot who has had the ‘Finks’ tattoo on his forehead crossed out and it now says ‘Mongols’, ‘Mongrels’ or something like that. I hope that that will prohibit him from attending licensed venues around the place. Is such a tattoo considered to be a patch? It is clear identification that he is a criminal motorcycle gang member, as it is tattooed on his forehead.

Tonight we are also debating the Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Bill 2013, which basically stops people from associating together. It provides for up to three years imprisonment and a mandatory minimum penalty of six months imprisonment for those people who are caught knowingly gathering in groups of three or more in a public place, going to a banned location or promoting or recruiting for an organisation. Again, members should remember that this is aimed at criminals. It is not aimed at your normal—

Mr Ruthenberg: Ulysses, Patriots.

Mr HART: Yes, the Ulysses motorcycle group, the Patriots, people on a charity fun run, the cyclists downtown, the local Rotary club, the local Lions Club or members of the local chamber of commerce who decide to go for a ride. It is not aimed at them. It is aimed at criminals. For God’s sake, we all know that these people are criminals and you can pick them out. There is no trouble with any of that. Why not believe the police when they tell us that these people are criminals? Let us tag them as such and get rid of them.

One of the things that I really like about this legislation is that it proposes to change the maximum prison sentence for an affray, which is what those guys did in Broadbeach on 27 September. On 27 September in Broadbeach, Bandido criminal motorcycle gang members were charged with affray. Previously, the maximum sentence was one year. Quite obviously that is not enough and I commend the Attorney-General for pushing out that maximum sentence to seven years. More importantly, it is the mandatory six-month sentence that is really to be applauded. If they use a vehicle before, during or after an offence, that vehicle will be crushed. Some of those guys live for their motorbikes. If they are involved in a criminal activity and we take and crush their motorbikes, that will really hurt them. A couple of things really affect these guys. One is taking away their motorbikes. The second, and the whole reason that they are performing these criminal activities, is money. They are doing it for money. We already have legislation in place that we can use to take their money from them if it is proved that they have gained that money from a criminal enterprise. That will stop these people from associating, as will the legislation that the Attorney-General has now introduced to the House. They will also have their licences suspended and the presumption that they would automatically get bail is taken away if they are proved to be criminal motorcycle gang members. Those are good things about the bill.

Another good thing about the bill is that it does not apply just to criminal motorcycle gangs. It can be extended to organisations such as the Mafia and the triads that operate in Queensland and, even more importantly, to paedophile rings and the like. It is important that for the minute this legislation is targeting criminal motorcycle gangs, but it has the ability and it is portable enough to target other criminal activities.

As far as consultation goes, over the past few weeks I have been very disappointed at what I have heard from the member for Gaven. A number of Gold Coast members are primarily concerned with the activities of criminal motorcycle gangs on the Gold Coast, but one member does not seem to care about his electorate. He is out there moaning and groaning about how this legislation will affect people who are not criminals, which is not its intent at all. As someone once said, you cannot help but break a few eggs when you make an omelette. Never a truer statement has been said. There is no doubt that we are going to inconvenience a few people, but I have not yet run into anybody who is really upset about the fact that they may get stopped, they may get asked for their licence and they may get interrogated about who they are riding with. If you have nothing to hide, this legislation will not hurt you. We are after criminals. If you have nothing to hide, this legislation will not affect you.

If I have not made it clear enough tonight, I say again that I fully support this legislation. Once again, I commend our Premier and our Attorney-General for bringing this legislation to the House in such a speedy manner. On behalf of the people of Burleigh, I thank the Attorney-General for this legislation. Believe you me, we are making a difference with this legislation. This is something that the people of Queensland will not forget quickly. We have made a difference.

The video clip of Mr Hart’s speech can be found here


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