Bikie laws ‘to end night out’

John Suta believes Queensland’s bikie laws are “wrong and very disturbing”.
John Suta believes Queensland’s bikie laws are “wrong and very disturbing”.

A SOLICITOR representing Wangaratta motorcyle club members trying to get back their guns and shooters’ licences yesterday described Queensland’s controversial anti-associations laws as “disgusting”.

The reaction by John Suta follows suggestions that Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark is considering giving police similar powers to those used in Queensland.

Last weekend police in Queensland arrested five men with alleged links to a motorcycle gang.

They are now in solitary confinement for 23 hours daily, wearing a pink prison uniform designed for prisoners charged under the legislation.

When the legislation was passed in Queensland, it was criticised as violating civil liberties and this week the incoming national human rights commissioner, Tim Wilson, has called for its repealing.

Mr Suta yesterday described the Queensland government and police as “zealots”.

“It is wrong and very disturbing that these laws might be introduced in Victoria,” Mr Suta said.

A spokesman for Mr Clark said the government sought advice from the Department of Justice on whether laws similar to those in Queensland were suitable for Victoria.

He said Mr Clark was awaiting further advice “in order to see if there are further measures that could be adopted in Victoria”.

Mr Suta is aware of a case in Queensland involving a nominee for the Rebels being jailed.

Bikies are unable to attend their clubhouses under the legislation and the nominee was concerned about the club’s dog at the premises.

Mr Suta said the nominee went there, fed the dog through the fence and is now serving a six-month mandatory sentence.

He said if the legislation was passed in Victoria, family members could be prevented from associating with each other.

“Three or four mates cannot have a barbecue together,” Mr Suta said.

He said members of the Wangaratta-based Tramps, a small club, have a social gathering each Friday night.

But that would be discontinued if the draconian legislation became law.

Five club members are fighting to have their firearm licences restored after they were first suspended before being cancelled in 2012.

Nine members had legally stored guns confiscated in August 2012 by a police taskforce.