Bikies and unions oppose anti-association bill


May 01, 2012 09:08:20

Bikies on a run


Bikies, along with other groups, are opposed to the anti-association laws. (file) (ABC TV)

Bikies, union officials and social justice groups met last night to oppose a State Government bill which makes it illegal for people in declared criminal organisations to associate with each other.

Headed by the United Motorcycle Council of WA, 25 groups are part of the movement trying to stop the passage of the Criminal Organisation Control bill through Parliament.

The Government is expected to approve the bill soon.

The Socialist Alliance’s Alex Bainbridge says the bill challenges basic human rights.

“If someone’s committed a crime, fair enough, they should be punished for that,” he said.

“What this bill is going to punish [is] people who are friends or associates, who come into contact with, people who have committed no crime themselves so that’s a real fundamental injustice.

“And, it wouldn’t matter if it was just bikies who are going to be affected by that.

“An injustice against anyone is something everyone should stand up against.”

The Civil Liberties Council’s David Pugh says the legislation is outdated and unjust.

“They’re bringing in retired judges who have the title of designated authorities. and a designated authority with secret tainted evidence can declare an organisation to be an outlaw organisation,” he said.

The United Motorcycle Council of WA’s Peter Godfree says the proposed legislation has not been thoroughly considered.

“It does definitely need to be scrutinised and looked at by a committee, that would be the best solution of all; if Parliament was to refer it a committee to have it looked at before they voted on it,” he said.

The UMCWA’s Eric Meehan says it is not just motorbike groups concerned about the proposed legislation.

“I hope that the Government will take this into consideration; that these people are genuinely concerned for the public of Western Australia and not just about the bikie organisations, as they suspect,” he said.

In a statement, the Attorney General said the legislation is extremely important to ensure the safety of all West Australians.

He says the laws will not affect organisations that do not engage in criminal activity.

Similar laws have failed in other states.


First posted

May 01, 2012 09:05:48

stories from Western Australia

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