THE Electrical Trade Union plans to challenge Queensland’s anti-bikie legislation in the High Court amid concerns that some members will lose their livelihoods.
State Secretary Peter Simpson said up to 200 electricians with links to gangs fear that they will lose their licence or won’t have it renewed once the amendments to the Electrical Safety Act, passed as part of Criminal Organisations Disruption legislation, comes into effect in July.
Those who have been a member in the past, current members without a criminal record, or those classified as associates could be swept up in the law.
“We are not sticking up for criminals,” Mr Simpson said.
“If people are breaching the law, if they are dealing drugs, using intimidation, harassing or bullying and it is proven, they should go to jail.
“But the existing laws provided for that.
“There is no need for this outrageous legislation, especially these amendments aimed at taking people’s livelihoods off them. It is just disgraceful.”
Acting Attorney-General David Crisafulli says criminal gangs have sadly infiltrated a range of businesses and used them as either fronts or vehicles to commit other crimes.
All criminal gang members need to do to keep or gain a permit or licence is quit their club and lead a law-abiding life.
“We want them to get real, honest jobs,” he said.
“Until our changes, criminal motorcycle gang members could work in our homes, change our locks and guard our homes and business.
“Cleaning up these industries is a win for everyone because businesses will be trusted and customers will know they are being served by a law-abiding professional.”
Those that are denied permits would have the opportunity to appeal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).