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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 February 2019) . . Page.. 429 ..

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Crimes (Anti-Consorting) Amendment Bill 2019

Mr Hanson, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.03): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

We are elected to this place to serve the community. There is no higher responsibility of that service than to keep our community safe. And this government is failing to do that. This is not a matter of politics or ideology. It is a matter of pure, hard facts. Fact: in 2009, following a bikie murder at Sydney airport, the then Labor Premier of New South Wales said that he would introduce tough new anti-bikie laws and drive the bikies out of New South Wales. Fact: at that time the AFP, the Australian Crime Commission, I and others warned that if the ACT failed to introduce commensurate laws then we would be a safe haven for bikies.

Fact: since New South Wales introduced anti-consorting laws, bikies have seen the ACT as a soft place to operate and we have seen at least a fourfold increase in ACT bikie gangs. We have also seen New South Wales bikies come to the ACT en masse in visits to operate in ways that they cannot in New South Wales.

Fact: because of the increase from the one gang in 2009 to at least four now, we have seen an inter-gang war erupt in our suburbs as bikies fight over turf. Fact: the frequency and severity of bikie violence has massively increased during this war. There was one recorded bikie assault in 2014, but last year there were 20. As for machine guns, fire-bombings and night-time raids, these were unheard of 10 years ago.

Fact: successive chief police officers have called for anti-consorting laws and have cited our lack of laws as the reason that we have an increase in bikie gang activity. Fact: unless we have anti-consorting laws consistent with those in New South Wales the bikie war will continue to rage in our suburbs. Fact: if that war continues, sooner or later somebody will be killed or maimed.

Those are the facts. But the stories behind those facts present an even more compelling story. It started when New South Wales introduced their laws but the ACT did not. Everybody could see the impending problem.

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