Queensland consorting laws: Outlaw gangs rev up again

(video)--NEW outlaw motorcycle gang chapters are springing up and fresh outbreaks of bikie violence are erupting as gangs stare down the Palaszczuk Government’s new bikie laws.

Six months after the new legislation was introduced to replace the former Newman government’s controversial VLAD laws, police say new bikie chapters have emerged in the Beenleigh-Logan area and gangs including the feared ­Comancheros are pushing to establish a foothold in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

The shooting of a Lamborghini-driving Coolangatta tradesman last month was believed to have been carried out by bikies seeking to muscle in on a southern Gold Coast bar.

In April, members of the ­violent Lone Wolf gang – infamous for once cutting off a Coast drug dealer’s ears over a debt – brazenly ambushed and bashed a man in broad daylight outside a Coolangatta pub. In February, the Crime and Corruption Commission smashed a major ice and cocaine syndicate linked to the Hells Angels, and operating out of the Tedder Ave restaurant strip at Main Beach.

The Palaszczuk Government has trumpeted its new serious and organised crime laws as “the toughest and most effective in Australia”.

But there are concerns that bikies belted into submission by the VLAD laws are re-grouping, especially on the Gold Coast which has been the scene of violent bikie showdowns, including the 2006 “Ballroom Blitz” at Royal Pines Resort and the 2013 Broadbeach brawl.

Queenslands anti-bikie laws will be repealed and replaced. Courtesy: 7News Queensland

Police say bikie gangs, while no longer openly roaring through the streets in gang ­colours, are continuing to fiercely control patches of turf.

The official number of patched bikies in Queensland has fallen from 1158 in late 2013 to 696 today, but police are keeping a close eye on gang membership levels as bikies test the new laws.

Detective Superintendent Mick Niland (pictured), head of the bikie-busting Taskforce Maxima, said that “pockets’' of new bikie chapters were ­emerging around Beenleigh and Logan.

Supt Niland said police were “embracing” the new laws and have so far charged nine bikies with wearing gang paraphernalia in public and issued more than 100 warning notices under anti-consorting provisions which came into force in March.

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GREG STOLZ
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couriermail.com.au




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