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Thursday, December 12, 2013

AUSTRALIA - $5m bounty on Gold Coast bikie gang members offered by Queensland Government

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BATTLE PLANS: Premier Campbell Newman (centre) with Police Minister Jack Dempsey and Police Commissioner Ian Stewart. Pic: Jack Tran Source: News Limited
PREMIER Campbell Newman has described himself as like "a rat up a drain pipe" in the fight against outlaw motorcycle gang members in Queensland.
Mr Newman said the help of the general public was integral in protecting the state."We are just needing Queenslanders to come forward and give us information, small bits through to the large bits," he told ABC radio."What we need is for people to be conscious that there might be weird activity at a house up the road. We need Queensland to stand together."The Premier said he was making bikies a priority."I can assure you that since Saturday morning I have been like a rat up a drain pipe on this one," he said.He said the Government would support police 100 per cent.
A Nine News investigation has uncovered 74 businesses across the southeast of Brisbane with links to bikie gangs.
"They will get whatever they need to do their job," he said.
"They will get it - they have to justify it … but if they can justify it they will get it.
"This is going to be an unprecedented effort in this country."
Overnight it was reported, that the State had posted a record $5 million bounty to help eradicate outlaw motorcycle gangs, following another public stoush between warring bikies on the Gold Coast.
Premier Campbell Newman has promised to hand out lucrative rewards to people who provide information to Crime Stoppers leading to the arrest of criminal motorcycle gang members.
Bikers have terrified holiday makers on the Gold Coast with a very public brawl that saw men throwing tables and chairs at each other, just metres from where families were having breakfast.

The bounty includes $1000 cash for tip-offs that lead to successful raids and $500,000 for information that results in the successful prosecution or shutdown of a criminal gang.
Speaking exclusively to The Courier-Mail, Mr Newman said the $5 million in rewards was a measure of how determined his Government was to rid Queensland of the bikie menace.
"With the community, the police and the justice system working hand in hand, these violent thugs and criminals will have nowhere to hide," Mr Newman said.
ESCORTED: Accused Bandidos brawler Richy Chapman is led to Southport watchhouse.
ESCORTED: Accused Bandidos brawler Richy Chapman is led to Southport watchhouse.
Earlier the Premier made his first public address since returning from an overseas trade trip,revealing how Friday night's violence on the Gold Coast was a "turning point" for him.
He said he was dismayed and angry to see a brawl occur in a family place and even more outraged that a group of people would go to a police station demanding a member be released from the watch-house.
"This is not the Wild West. It is Queensland in 2013, and people like that need to take a real reality check," Mr Newman said.
Just over a month ago, the Premier declared Queensland "would not be a state where people in leather jackets and tattoos went straight to jail".
But he acknowledged that was no longer his position.
"My previous comments demonstrate that we were prepared to give them an opportunity to see that the government was serious but clearly it wasn't enough and now we're getting on with it, in this particular way," he said.
CSI MIAMI: Nobby Beach's Smoothie Shack, scene of the latest Gold Coast bikie brawl.
CSI MIAMI: Nobby Beach's Smoothie Shack, scene of the latest Gold Coast bikie brawl.
Even more extreme laws targeting bikies would be introduced to Parliament in a fortnight, in addition to those announced yesterday banning gang members from gathering in groups and at certain places, and shutting them out of the tattoo industry.
Proposed anti-racketeering legislation will also stop bikies from promoting or recruiting to their gangs, and from wearing club colours in licensed venues.
Mr Newman would not say how much further his government would go to run bikies out of Queensland, but warned there would be more.
"We will try different approaches, every possible approach to actually shut these gangs down, to take away their money, their assets, their motorcycles, their guns, their drugs. That's what we're going to do," he said.
The aggressive stance was immediately condemned by civil libertarians as "way over the top" and designed to deflect attention from the real issue - a shortage of police on the Gold Coast.
Civil libertarian and criminal defence solicitor Terry O'Gorman said the shooting of a second police officer on the Gold Coast in just over two years had created a political problem for the government.
"We're in the relatively rare position that we agree with the Police Union that there are insufficient police numbers on the Gold Coast, which is a place that attracts over 8 million tourists a year," Mr O'Gorman said.
"The real problem is a failure by the government to respond to a campaign by the Mayor, the tourism body and businesses saying we need more police."
The LNP had promised to boost police numbers on the Gold Coast by 100 in its first four years, but 136 extra officers have been sent to the region including Logan since March 2012.
In coming days an additional 100 officers will be based on the Gold Coast taking the size of the local police force to more than 900.
Currently 830 police are permanently based on the Glitter Strip.
- Additional reporting Kris Crane