High Court decision in ‘bikie’ law challenge will affect all Queenslanders

AUDREY COURTY

Bikies warn the VLAD laws pose a threat to everyone. Photo: Roy Lister

Bikers say they are fighting for the right to freely associate. Photo: Roy Lister

A High Court challenge to the Queensland government’s ‘anti-bikie’ laws wrapped up last week and the verdict, which is not expected for several weeks, will have national consequences.

Hells Angels member Stefan Kuczborski has been the face of the legal challenge, with the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland backing the appeal on behalf of 17 biker clubs.

UMCQ spokesman Mick Kosenko said they are fighting for the right of freedom to associate and that the laws pose a threat to everyone.

“It affects every Queenslander… there’s nowhere in the laws that mentions anything about motorcycle clubs—it can be a group, it can be an organisation, or any three people who associate in Queensland,” he said.

Under the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act, gatherings of three or more people of an organisation can be charged, and the onus is on them to prove their group has no criminal intent.

Those prosecuted under the act also face an additional mandatory sentence of up to 25 years if convicted.

Mr Kosenko said the laws give undue power to the State Government to determine the criminality of selected organisations and their participants.

“They [Newman Government] have taken so much power away from the courts, they’ve almost made themselves lawyers, police and judges,” he said.

If the state’s VLAD laws are upheld, they are likely to be adopted by governments across the country.

Solicitor-generals for Queensland, the Commonwealth, NSW, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory all argued in support of the laws and their validity.

“I think it’s sad that Australia’s freedom has been put in the hands of motorcycle clubs… we’re fighting for every Queenslander and I don’t think every Queenslander realises that,” Mr Kosenko said.

“If we win, it’s a bunch of bikers from Queensland that will have changed Australia’s history—we’ll have set a precedent.”

Comments

  1. My hat is off to them. This has already touched the unions, small business operators and even the truly independent politicians that hold no party affiliation. There is no mention of bike clubs in the legislation because then they would have to provide the crime metrics required to support it. No politician wants to put their retirement benefit at risk for costing the tax payers millions to clean up between 0.3 and 0.6% of the crime rate. Look at police crime reports around the country and that is what you will see. Ignore published political figure claims. Look to the actual published figures. One has to ask if they are so determined to fight something they know is statistically insignificant. What are they trying to distract from? I would say possibly their lack of performance overall. If politicians were forced to work on performance based contracts like a lot of us are and had to get there review from the people who put them in power. How fast would things improve then?

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  2. Tony Teniswood says:

    When a Government can declare itself Judge, Jury and Executioner,then something is seriously wrong with the system. Newman has decided he has the authority to criminalise anybody he sees fit, supported by a politicalised Police Force. Hopefully his attempt to control the judiciary is a bridge to far and the Judges maintain control and the High Court throw these draconian attacks on civil rights out in the garbage where they belong.

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  3. h.livermore says:

    I think mr koesnko is correct ..

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  4. Barbara Nicholls says:

    This Sucks
    The People don’t Realise their Power & need to stand up.

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  5. Paul Pilgrim says:

    If those laws are accepted this can go beyond just Australia, other countries will be keeping a close eye on them as well because it’s another way to control unions and protestors. It keeps the political elite in control.

    Like

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