Members of the Bandidos roll into Caloundra for their annual gathering.
Members of the Bandidos roll into Caloundra for their annual gathering.

Why Bleijie deserves support, not Nazi barbs

JARROD Bleijie has been called everything in the past week from a Nazi to a right wing religious zealot.

In truth, he is neither.

On the Sunshine Coast, many know the Member for Kawana as an MP who is actually prepared to fight for what he believes in.

During my time as editor of the Sunshine Coast Daily, Jarrod impressed me as a young man of incredible passion and conviction.

While we had MPs who were happy to abuse the privileges that came with a safe seat at a federal level, Jarrod was clearly determined to make a difference.

When the Bligh government delayed the much needed Sunshine Coast University Hospital it was the young MP who helped rally the public and led 2000 on a street march.

But it was no one-off publicity stunt. He continued prosecuting the cause week in, week out.

While moves to privatise operations of that hospital have certainly harmed his reputation, he remains adamant it will be a public hospital serving those most in need.

Balance of power too long in favour of criminals

On the law and order front, the Newman government's position has been clear from day one.

The balance of power has clearly swung in favour of criminals, civil libertarians and defence lawyers.

It's time victims and the safety of the Queensland community is put first.

While the powers the Newman government has adopted are far reaching - and could be abused - they are focused.

Their target is not people enjoying a Sunday bike ride.

The government is after criminal motorcycle gangs.

Only the most naïve would think they are little threat to the wider community.

For those who have been around long enough and have been covering courts over the years, it is clear these gangs are ruthless in their operations.

Bandidos bikies stormed a Broadbeach restaurant for two Finks associates at the weekend. Queensland police were quickly on the scene.
Bandidos bikies stormed a Broadbeach restaurant for two Finks associates at the weekend. Queensland police were quickly on the scene. Instagram

They are behind drug labs across the state that are killing our young every day. They have been involved in shootings, murders, with the violence spreading to malls, restaurants, as well as clubhouses and tattoo parlours.

They rape their women and bully and intimidate those around them, to the point where there is such fear you rarely hear anyone speak out against them.

Jarrod Bleijie himself has already been targeted with threats.

You can only imagine the extra security detail around the young Attorney-General, his wife and family right now.

Rather than being condemned, we should be applauding him making a stand for public safety.

His law reforms also include those targeting the most serious of sexual offenders.

For too long, we have seen the most sickening crimes because judges have let out these scum.

Through what can be only described as acts of gross negligence, judges have allowed perpetrators the ability to offend again by releasing them into the wider community.

Too often, it is our most young who become victims of the most brutal, degrading crimes against their innocence.

While the separation of powers between the courts and the state is an important legal principle, of far greater importance is the protection of these children and victims of crime.

Given the absolute failure of our legal system to recognise that, it is indeed time, as our Attorney-General says, to swing the balance of power back where it should be.

When it comes to bikies, I am more concerned about young people getting addicted and sometimes dying, because of the proliferation of meth labs, than the rights of people selling the stuff.

My guess is the wider community is on board with the changes that the Attorney-General has introduced.

For years, most of us, including those now ridiculing Jarrod,  have lamented how soft our judicial system has been on crime.

It's time the perpetrators of crime feel some of the pain that victims and their families have endured for years.

And if it means that lawyers who have profited from protecting bikie thugs are hurt in the process, bring it on.

Mark Furler is APN Australian Regional Media's current Editor of the Year and former editor in chief of the award-winning Sunshine Coast Daily. He is group digital editor, overseeing APN's Australian news websites.