More industries that have been infected by criminal gangs will be cleaned up under further reforms to be introduced in Parliament today.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the licensing regime, that was put in place to tackle criminal motorcycle gangs’ grip on the tattoo industry, would be expanded to make Queensland safer.
“The criminal gangs have their fingers in many pies and target unsuspecting Queenslanders, but their members will soon be banned from having or applying for licenses in a range of industries,” Mr Bleijie said.
“We promised Queenslanders that we would get tough on crime after years of Labor inaction allowed these gangs to flourish.
“They take over legitimate businesses and use them as fronts for their crimes and even further their intimidating activities.
“They have infiltrated industries that come into our homes and businesses and profit from car thefts and break and enters. Police have told us they even extort innocent people by demanding exorbitant fees after towing their cars illegally.
“Queenslanders should have confidence that the operators and workers in these businesses are trustworthy.
“These latest reforms will restore credibility to a range of industries and build on the many changes we have already made in the past 18 months to get tough on crime and revitalise frontline policing services.
“We promised Queenslanders at the election that we would do this and we are delivering.
“Relevant departments will be able to conduct a fast, simple cross check of current or prospective license holders against police intelligence relating to criminal gang members.
“The only way for criminal gang members to operate in these industries is if they resign their membership and start leading law abiding lives.
“This is their chance to get real jobs and end their illegal activities.
“Those who try to game the system by resigning simply for show will only be delaying the inevitable. If they continue to act like thugs, the authorities have the power to investigate them and revoke their licenses.”
- Security (including locksmiths)
- Tow truck
- Building and construction
- Pawn broking
- Second hand motor dealers
“All these industries already have licensing requirements and our reforms will relate to only those who already require a form of license,” he said.
“For example, the licensee of a restaurant or bar would be subject to a criminal gang check but his or her workers would not.
“We are ensuring Queenslanders can have faith in these industries with no inconvenience to law abiding license holders.
Mr Bleijie said recent reforms would be amended to combat the slippery nature of the criminal gangs.
“As expected, the gangs have done everything they can to get around our new laws and, as promised, we are amending the legislation accordingly.
“Bail provisions will be amended to ensure gang members can’t step around the system simply by resigning their membership.
“We are sending a clear message to criminal gangs that they are not wanted in Queensland.
“In less than two months, more than 281 criminal motorcycle gang members and associates have been arrested and charged with more than 560 offences
“We will do whatever is necessary to ensure criminal gangs are kicked out of Queensland.”