Cuts to fight on out­law bikies

STATE BUD­GET

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SARAH VOGLER

LA­BOR has qui­etly slashed the fund­ing to the Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion in its fight against out­law bikie gangs.

The Op­po­si­tion last night ac­cused the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment of go­ing soft on bikies and said the loss of up to $ 1.784 mil­lion was proof La­bor was not se­ri­ous about ad­dress­ing or­gan­ised crime.

In Tues­day’s Bud­get, the Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted $ 20 mil­lion over four years to a broad crime fight­ing pack­age in­clud­ing out­law mo­tor­cy­cle gangs, al­co­hol- fu­elled vi­o­lence and the drug ice.

Last night At­tor­ney- Gen­eral Yvette D’Ath and Po­lice Min­is­ter Jo- Ann Miller in­sisted fund­ing for other anti- bikie ini­tia­tives had in­creased.

They said the over­all bud­get for the CCC had also risen by more than $ 1 mil­lion.

“In last year’s Bud­get, the LNP de­cided not to pro­vide the QPS any ex­tra fund­ing to tackle ( bikie gangs) be­yond 2014- 15,” Mrs Miller said.

“That’s why in this Bud­get, we have com­mit­ted an ex­tra $ 20 mil­lion to the QPS over four years to tackle out­law mo­tor­cy­cle gangs as part of our com­bat­ing or­gan­ised crime, al­co­hol- fu­elled vi­o­lence and ice fund­ing pack­age.”

Bud­get doc­u­ments

re­veal there has been a de­crease in grant fund­ing to the Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion for out­law mo­tor­cy­cle crim­i­nal gangs in the 2015- 16 year.

Op­po­si­tion jus­tice spokesman Ian Walker said re­duc­ing the CCC’s bikie fund­ing was proof the Gov­ern­ment was not com­mit­ted to the crack­down.

Mr Walker said the LNP’s last Bud­get had com­mit­ted a fur­ther $ 1.145 mil­lion to the CCC this fi­nan­cial year to tackle bikies, fol­lowed by an ex­tra $ 639,000 in 2016- 17. He ac­cused the ALP of redi­rect­ing that $ 1.784 mil­lion else­where.

“That can only mean that the fight against or­gan­ised crime is weak­ened and weak­ened sig­nif­i­cantly,” he said.

Mr Walker said it was also proof the Gov­ern­ment was pre- empt­ing the out­come of its re­view of the LNP’s bikie laws.

About $ 247,000 has been al­lo­cated to fund­ing the re­view of the anti- bikie leg­is­la­tion, in­tro­duced by the New­man Gov­ern­ment.

The task­force is due to hand down its re­port in De­cem­ber.

Ms Miller said the Gov­ern­ment was also spend­ing more on the Gold Coast rapid ac­tion pa­trol group, which also tar­gets bikie gangs.

A spokesman for Ms D’Ath said the crime com­mis­sion’s bud­get had in­creased over­all by $ 1.569 mil­lion.

Pic­ture: TARA CROSER

CHANGED PRI­OR­I­TIES: Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk spruiks the Bud­get dur­ing a visit to a Bris­bane school yesterday, flanked by Trea­surer Curtis Pitt.

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