Outlaw bikie gang numbers double on Gold Coast
The number of outlaw motorcycle gangs and criminal syndicates operating on the Gold Coast has doubled as police battle an influx of guns and drugs across southeast Queensland.
And The Australian can reveal more gangs are moving in, with Rock Machine group badges spotted in the area last week. The gang, founded in Canada, has had a long-running feud with the Hells Angels, which have aggressively claimed territory on the Gold Coast in the past three years.
Police sources reported a worrying increase in bikie activity, with concerns of “tit-for-tat” attacks.
Taskforce Maxima anti-bikie detectives located an “illicit weapons manufacturing facility” last month. It contained equipment used in the production of fully automatic machine guns, including a 3D printer, lathes, drill presses and other tools.
Four homemade machine guns, three silencers and ammunition were also seized.
Traditional bikie gangs that controlled territory between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta — the Finks, Bandidos and Lone Wolf — were forced underground after former premier Campbell Newman beefed up police numbers and shut clubhouses following a Broadbeach brawl in 2013.
In response to the gangs’ resurgence, new Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan, 33, said 24 extra police officers had been added to the Gold Coast roster.
Mr Ryan last night issued a warning to bikies that the Palaszczuk government’s new serious and organised crime legislation would give police “more powers, not less”.
“My message to outlaw motorcycle gangs, or any crime group, is: if you commit a crime, the police will catch you and you will suffer the full force of the law,” he said. “The Palaszczuk government does not tolerate organised crime in Queensland and we will work across all agencies to ensure the safety of our communities.”
Two days after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk repealed the Newman government’s anti-bikie laws last week, police raided the homes of three senior members of the Hells Angels and Nomads.
On Friday, three days after the new legislation was supported in parliament, Nomads associate Jason Boyd was shot dead in Carrara. Taylor Ruatara, who has reported links to the New Zealand gang Black Power, was charged with his murder.
The government’s new laws will ban bikie colours in public, but gang members reportedly ignored the crackdown last week, riding in their colours on the Gold Coast Highway.
Mr Ryan said unlike the Newman laws, “our serious organised crime legislation allows police to go after anyone involved in organised crime, regardless of whether they belong to a gang or not”.
“Existing clubhouses won’t just remain closed, they will be systematically dismantled,” he said.
“If any group attempts to open any premises involved in organised crime police now have the powers to dismantle them before they can open.”
The Australian has previously revealed the Hells Angels and Nomads have recorded a major spike in numbers in southeast Queensland, with gang members arriving from interstate.
The Palaszczuk government claimed the Newman laws “proved ineffective”.
Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek, who has led the Liberal National Party response to Ms Palaszczuk’s bikie law changes, said the gangs believed they were “back in charge”.
He said he feared the violence that the gangs have wrought overseas could occur on the Gold Coast as new chapters are established.
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