Bev Lacey

Don't ditch the bikie laws - just fix them

THE fact that it is impossible to get clear-cut answers on queries over the State Government's anti-bikie laws is reason enough to demand they be "tweaked" once again.

Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie's office has been unable to provide direction on straight-forward questions about  the issue as it says it cannot give legal advice, presumably because any answer would provide a potential precedent for future court cases.

But a law that cannot be understood by the masses is not a good law.

Laws affect real people - and real people must know when they are breaking them.

At the moment this is not the case, so the laws must change.

This is in no way an endorsement of bikie gangs, nor is it a defence of any member of the Yandina Five. Time is likely to reveal they knew exactly what they were doing when they were arrested. One must remember that those still being held in jail have already been before a court.

Outlaw bikies have some nasty habits. They support, by action or implication, some of the most horrid of illegal activities and their control is so dominant that something "different" is necessary to rein them in. They operate behind the scenes, intimidating the addicted, the vulnerable and gullible into doing their handiwork to avoid immediate connection.

The war on violence, extortion and drugs is more than a little difficult - and made more so by popular misconceptions spread over the internet by naive keyboard warriors. Those who believe the outlaw bikies are all cuddles and charity rides must not have left their darkened rooms for a very long time.

That kind of belief is the fairytale stuff of Facebook.

But the laws as they stand are not the complete answer. The rules of association are way too vague.

Acting Attorney General David Crisafulli has responded to questions on scenarios under which bikies might be arrested with an assurance that  a "common sense approach" to the laws would prevail, with police required to have supporting evidence and intelligence before charging anyone with any offence.

That's lovely, Mr Crisafulli, but the laws have to be more clear-cut than that. If we don't know how they work we can't obey them.

If they negatively affect people who may have changed their ways, they are a negative influence on society.

If they leave innocent people uncertain and in fear they are plain wrong.

Under the current government it is unlikely that the bikie laws will be abused, but who knows how future governments will use them.

I don't doubt that Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie intends the bikie laws only for good - but that doesn't mean they have been well drafted, nor that they will achieve their aim.

The revelation that Independent MP Peter Wellington voted for the laws but now is calling for them to be "tweaked" is a flag that should not be ignored.

Jarrod, you need to revisit this, otherwise the bikies will win.