Labor walks out on Qld bikie law debate
Updated: 13:56, Wednesday November 20, 2013
Labor walked out of a parliamentary committee that was given less than 36 hours to scrutinise the Queensland government’s second wave of anti-bikie legislation.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie introduced the 180-page document after 10pm (AEST) on Tuesday, aiming to further toughen bail laws, enable prisons to segregate bikies, and stop known bikies getting permits to work in industries including security, construction and towing.
Labor MP Bill Byrne walked out of the bipartisan Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee tasked with scrutinising the legislation.
He doesn’t believe there is enough time to call witnesses, or to hear from experts such as the chief magistrate and car dealers’ associations.
‘It is going to put the committee in such a position that it will be unable to provide a complete and comprehensive report to the parliament about the strengths and weaknesses associated with this legislation,’ Mr Byrne said.
‘I believe this legislation is also trying to retrofit the failing of the first raft of legislation. I think others can comment (on) how good the attorney-general is at putting together legislation in short order.
‘It appears to me haphazard.’
Mr Byrne isn’t critical of the committee, which he described as being in between a rock and a hard place, but believes he’ll make more progress scrutinising the legislation with opposition staffers.
Labor is yet to indicate if it will support the laws, after voting in favour of the initial reforms more than a fortnight ago.
Premier Campbell Newman says the committee has given enough time to scrutinise the legislation.
‘They are very straight forward, they are not complicated,’ he said.