Tasmania’s House of Assembly has passed an anti-bikie bill aimed at limiting interactions between members of organised crime groups, just two days after the legislation was first presented to MPs.
The speedy passage of this bill follows the amendment and passing of legislation at the end of August to outlaw motorcycle gangs from wearing colours.
The Government hopes the latest bill will disrupt organised crime groups such as outlaw motorcycle gangs by making it illegal for a convicted offender to consort with another convicted offender within five years of being given an official warning notice.
Both Labor and the Greens raised concerns about the tight turnaround in considering the bill, after it was tabled on Tuesday morning, leaving them with little time to draft changes.
Labor’s police spokesman Shane Broad told the House that concerns about the legislation had since been raised by the Tasmanian Bar, the Australian Lawyers Alliance, and Civil Liberties Australia.
Debate on the Bill stretched late into Thursday night as amendments — and the occasional amendment to an amendment — were moved by all sides.
Labor’s push to add a defence for attending a religious or cultural event — such as weddings and funerals — to be included was strongly rejected by Police Minister Michael Ferguson, who said it would create a major loophole in the legislation.
Mr Broad said it would be a minor change, and Labor’s Ella Haddad said she believed the defence was crucial to the bill.
Labor is expected to again push for the change when the bill goes before the Upper House.
The Opposition also raised concerns about the definition of family member, and pushed for changes which would see the defence of being family widened to include members outside the immediate family.
An amendment requiring the ombudsman to review the legislation in four years was agreed to, while four changes moved by the Greens were not accepted.
The bill will now be considered in the independent-dominated Legislative Council, where it is likely to be amended further.
Police have arrested three men at homes in Sydney’s west as part of an investigation into a road rage attack involving members of the Finks bikie gang.
The men were arrested at homes in Mt Druitt and Marsden Park during the early morning raids.
9NEWS understands the raids were carried out following a road rage incident on the Great Western Highway in the Blue Mountains in July
The three men have been taken back to Riverston police station, with charges expected to be laid later today.
Terrifying footage from the July attack shows around 13 bikies and their associates approach a white BMW at a set of traffic lights before hitting, kicking and throwing objects at the vehicle.
At the time, police said the car passengers were “intimidated” and “obviously shaken”
“This is an incident where it shows intimidation – the fact that they’ve acted together,” Chief Inspector Walke said.
“Assisting their friends is one thing; attacking the occupants of the motor vehicle is quite unacceptable. Members of the community do not undertake that in normal society and it is not tolerated.”
More to come…