Page 2486 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 August 2017

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Crime—motorcycle gangs

MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General and relates to outlaw motorcycle gang activity in Canberra. A senior NSW police officer was quoted in January as saying, “A lot of clubhouses have been closed down and bikies are no longer roaming in packs in NSW but it is frustrating that they can still operate freely in Canberra.” The ACT Chief Police Officer was reported as stating that she “agreed that Canberra’s lack of anti-consorting laws made Canberra a haven for bikies. I believe that is a factor in the decision to come here and undertake their activities.” Attorney-General, how can you maintain that anti-consorting laws are ineffective when police advice is that they are moving from NSW to the ACT as a result of the absence of those laws?

MR RAMSAY: I thank the shadow attorney-general for his question. When we were in a committee hearing earlier this year I was commenting that the member has a habit of being able to find one particular tool in the toolbox and just keep going with that one. I think we have now managed to swap portfolios, but we are seeing the same thing happening again. There are issues, but the shadow attorney-general sees only one matter and grabs the only tool that he has in his toolkit, which is to talk about—

Mr Coe: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Be seated, Attorney-General. A point of order, Mr Coe.

Mr Coe: On relevance, I think the attorney owes it to Canberrans to be directly relevant to the question and not consume half the answer talking about Mr Hanson.

MADAM SPEAKER: It was not half the answer; and I should have stopped the clock for the attorney. Attorney, you now have less than a minute to conclude your answer.

MR RAMSAY: I note that the hammer keeps going in one particular place. The reason the government is choosing to do what it will do is that it will be based on the evidence. I am pleased to hear from my colleague Minister Gentleman about the conversations he has had with the Chief Police Officer and the way the focus is going. The number one focus for ACT Policing I am advised is in relation to outlaw motorcycle gangs. In relation to law reform, we will work on the basis of evidence. I again draw the attention of the Assembly to the report in relation to the New South Wales laws which says repeatedly—

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, can you refrain, please, from shouting across the floor.

MR HANSON: Attorney-General, what are the factors causing bikies to reduce activity in New South Wales and increase activity in Canberra?

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