Bikie laws rev up again

The previous Labor Government's controversial bikie laws, which were rammed through Parliament, quickly amended and then struck down by the High Court, re-emerged this week as a response to a spate of gang-related shootings.

Like the 2009 legislation, the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Bill would allow the Supreme Court to declare an organisation criminal and then make declarations of members preventing them associating with each other. The new Bill adds a requirement for the Supreme Court to publish reasons for decisions.

Just like the previous occasion, this dramatic change to our State's law was introduced, debated and voted in one sitting of Parliament.

Recent shocking violence does not justify rushing legislation through without time to assess, inform and consult. The previous laws were widely criticised for encroaching on basic human rights like freedom of association, and legal experts said they would not reduce crime.

Debate depressingly focussed on which party would have acted first in response to gang violence rather than the important issue of whether creating the new crimes would reduce criminal activity.

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