Bikies to Be Barred from Construction 10

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
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Harsh new laws to stymie the spread of bikie gangs in Queensland will see members of such groups barred from working on construction sites by the second half of 2015 despite the extension of an ongoing trade union inquiry.

The Newman state government has confirmed that new licensing restrictions slated to come into effect on July 2 will prohibit both members and associates of bikie gangs from engaging in work on construction sites in Queensland.

The ban on bikies in the building industry was originally scheduled to come into effect at the start of July last year and would have required the members of various trades, including electricians, plumbers and builders, severe ties with the members of motorcycle gangs or be de-registered.

Just two weeks prior to its scheduled commencement, however, the government announced that the ban would be delayed for 12 months in order for the Federal Government to conduct a trade union inquiry.

While the inquiry has been extended by another 12 months in order to pursue further investigations, the office of Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie has confirmed that there are currently no plans to defer the licensing restrictions as a result.

The Newman government has implemented harsh new laws directed against Queensland’s bikie gangs over the past year, in direct response to a violent brawl between the Bandidos and the Finks that took place in Broadbeach toward the end of 2013.

The state government estimates that over 300 of an estimated 1,500 outlaw bikies in Queensland have withdrawn from their former gangs in response to the strict raft of measures.

While the crackdown has proved effective in curbing the scope and activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs, civil rights advocates have complained that some of the measures are excessive.

Unions have also criticised changes to licensing requirements, with John Battams, president of the Queensland Council of Unions, calling the them “too broad a brush” for dealing with the problem of bikie gangs.

The Electrical Trades Union has been particularly critical of the slated licensing changes, claiming that they would imperil the employment prospects of innocent workers without criminal backgrounds.

According to ETU state secretary Peter Simpson at least 50 members of the union could be unjustly affected by the new licensing requirements.

“It’s manifestly unfair to pick on people because of who they hang around with,” said Simpson.

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  1. Michael Jones

    So we want "bikies" to stop committing crimes, so we starve them of legitimate work and force them back to a life of crime.

    Does no one understand even criminals need to eat and will do as much as they need to survive.

    • Liam W

      You clearly do not understand the "bikie culture"… if these folks remove their colours and work as normal folks, there is no issue, but if they continue to wear their colours and act as a criminal organisation, there is no place for them on a job site.

    • JasonS

      plenty of work as cleaners

  2. Garry Carpenter

    The Bikie menace is smoke and mirrors designed to make this government look tough for the sheeple. The so called VLAD Laws are a gross infringement on civil liberties and for what? QPS own statistics show convictions against the 'bikies' over the last year have been prosecuted under existing legislation made possible by the extra resources bestowed on Police. I can't believe Queenslanders will be stupid enough to re-elect the LNP and allow this to continue.

    • Bea

      "Gross infringement of civil liberties"? How? By enforcing the rule of law? Organised crime has infiltrated the construction industry through the construction unions, the flout community standards of behaviour and rules the rest of the community is expected to abide by. Or are law abiding folks the 'sheeple'?
      Making bikies and construction unions behave like normal people will push down construction costs for community infrastructure like schools and hospitals. Where is the harm in that?

    • Rob

      Bea, you've bought into the hysterical PR that tough looking motorcycle clubs exist for criminal purposes. Victoria has harsher "anti bikie" laws but require evidence to convince a judge that the organisation exists for criminal enterprise. Not one case has met the criteria. Queensland instead made it an act of political expediency via regulation to classify "bikie" clubs as criminal organisations. That classification was separate to the VLAD and anti association laws. These other laws apply to EVERYBODY. An end of season footy trip that gets way out of hand and results in affray in a public establishment ticks the VLAD laws.

      But don't you worry about that.

  3. Gerard Beasley

    From my understanding (though I could be wrong), merely belonging to any group including a bikie gang is not in itself illegal (though participating in any illegal behaviour carried out by that gang would be illegal and such behaviour should be dealt with), and it would be interesting to see how restrictions on the forms of legal employment which otherwise law abiding individuals reconciles with basic human rights conventions.

    My view is that with any trade or profession requiring registration, the question of whether or not any individual should or should not be able practice in that area should revolve whether or not they possess the skills and expertise necessary to perform the work involved in a safe and competent manner, whether or not they carry out that work in good faith with appropriate levels of diligence and care, and whether or not they are basically of good character. Whom they do or do not choose to associate with should not be a factor unless that is deemed to go to their character.

    • john powers

      I have notice in my rear garden that magpies hang out with magpies and cockatoos hang out with cockatoos.
      The' birds of a feather ' saying applies to outlaw clubs as well as legit clubs. People and animals seek out their own kind.

    • Bea

      In general I would agree. People's behaviour is the ultimate test of their character. In the construction industry there is ample evidence that the behaviour of building union officials and bikie gangs (and often membership overlaps) is reprehensible and not what the community expects.

    • Rob

      Bea, corruption is corruption is corruption. The laws are already there to deal with it. The "outlaw" motorcycle gang beat up has allowed an ideologically narrow political party to introduce powers that had the legal profession, civil libertarians and human right advocates unanimously rejecting these flimsily justified laws.

      By the way, "outlaw" motorcycle gangs attained this name from not complying to the AMA's rules, not because they exist for illegal and nefarious purposes. Ok, so some members aren't saints, but there are already laws in place to deal with these illegal activities.