Uniform bikie laws unlikely as Victoria breaks ranks
News | 16 April 2009 | The New Lawyer
Victoria's Attorney-General has broken ranks with his interstate colleagues over how to tackle the problem of the nation's outlaw bikie gangs.
AS the nation's top legal officers prepare to meet in Canberra today, it has become clear that they will unlikely reach consensus on one tough issue - the problem of Australia's outlaw bikie gangs.
Ahead of the state and federal attorneys-general meeting in Canberra today, Victoria's A-G Rob Hulls has broken ranks with his colleagues on laws to put the brakes on criminal activity in bikie gangs.
New South Wales has embraced South Australia's attitude to bikies, and NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says it's irresponsible for any state to address the issue alone, suggesting there should be a national approach.
"The effect of that would be that you would have a situation that one jurisdiction or another would effectively be an oasis for these criminal organisations to establish themselves with a level of impunity," he said in an ABC News report.
But Hulls says the new laws are symbolic, not broad enough and not as rigorous as the organised crime legislation already in place in Victoria.
"Victoria doesn't believe this is the best way to address organised criminal activity groups, nor do we think it effectively targets or disrupts the groups' criminal enterprises," he said.
"There's no evidence to suggest legislation to criminalise motorcycle gangs, including the laws introduced in South Australia, have actually been effective in affecting the organised criminal activity of these groups."