Potts says new anti-bikie laws are a step forward – but not without problems

Queensland Law Society has applauded the Palaszczuk Labor Government for dispatching the LNP’s flawed and unworkable VLAD anti-bikie laws to the dustbin of history.

However, Society president Bill Potts said the new Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Bill had its own inherent shortcomings and problems – but was a marked step forward from the previous legislation.

“QLS is delighted the government has repealed the Newman LNP Government’s controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Association Act – which was the subject of considerable criticism among the legal profession,” he said.

“The Society has always strongly advocated for evidence-based legislation and policy.

“We have always sought to consult with the government and the opposition so that the legislation can be properly developed.

“We were thrilled to be allowed to take part in the consultation process, however, not all of our recommendations were adopted.”

Mr Potts said the Society would watch with interest whether the new laws make the difference expected to keep the streets and communities of Queensland safe for everyone.

“The Society also hopes the laws will be the subject of constant review – preferably every 12 months – and tweaked where necessary to ensure they are as effective as required,” he said.

“We need laws that deter people from crime but where the balance lies is something the public will be debating.

“What is necessary is better resourcing for police rather than more law and not enough order.

“Under this new legislation the law is clearer and more likely to garner prosecutions. The proof will be in the pudding and the police now have a legislative tool to successfully prosecute.”

Mr Potts said positive aspects of the laws included empowering crime fighters to crackdown hard on child exploitation, boiler-room fraudsters and outlaw criminal motorcycle gangs and will introduce new offences and increased penalties.