Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . . Page.. 2644 ..
Mrs Dunne interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, your colleague Mr Milligan is on his feet to ask a question without notice.
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. On 8 July, media reports cited police statistics that outlaw motorcycle gang issues made up 75 per cent of the workload of the criminal investigations area. As at 8 July, there have been two attempted murders, six shootings and seven arson attacks attributed to bikie gangs. In 2017 these gangs were believed to be responsible for eight shootings and nine arson attacks. Why do we have a situation where three-quarters of the workload of the criminal investigations area is due to outlaw motorcycle gangs?
MR GENTLEMAN: It is a direct result of the focus that ACT Policing have put on criminal outlaw motorcycle gangs. The CPO gave a direction to her criminal investigations unit to ensure that the focus will be on criminal outlaw motorcycle gangs. Mind you, they are still doing other work. I can report that just today four people faced the ACT Magistrates Court this morning on a total of 21 drug trafficking charges, after ACT Policing executed search warrants yesterday.
Members of ACT Policing criminal investigations, assisted by other police, Australian Federal Police and New South Wales officers, executed search warrants for premises in Macgregor, Cook, Macquarie and Queanbeyan as part of Operation Ghar, an ongoing drugs and organised crime investigation. During these searches police seized a trafficable quantity of a substance suspected to be cocaine, more than a thousand pills suspected to be MDMA and approximately $5,000 in cash. As a result of these search warrants, a 39-year-old man from McKellar, a 32-year-old Cook man, a 46-year-old man from Macquarie and a 20-year-old Queanbeyan woman were arrested. They will face a combined total of 21 charges of trafficking a controlled drug.
While the criminal investigations team is certainly focusing, as the CPO has told them to do, on criminal outlaw motorcycle gangs, it is quite clear from that reading that success in other criminal investigations is being achieved as well.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why do we have four bikie gangs operating in the ACT when at the beginning of the decade we just had one?
MR GENTLEMAN: We have had a detailed briefing on how bikie gangs operate in the ACT, across Australia and across the world. The answer to Mr Milligan's question is competition. They have a market here in the ACT.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR GENTLEMAN: There are interjections of comedy from the opposition but this is a very serious matter. The ACT government is responding by investing in police