The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to keeping Tasmanians safe, and with the return to Parliament after the winter break, we will focus on legislation designed to protect the community.
In contrast to our trademark support for community safety, the soft-on-crime Labor Party is cosying up with organised crime gangs against the advice of Tasmania Police and the Police Association of Tasmania.
The Police Offences Amendment (Prohibited Insignia) Bill 2018 will prohibit the display of insignia (also known as gang colours) of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGs). These OMCGs use their colours to threaten, intimidate and incite fear. They are not law abiding groups like the majority of bike riders, as they claim. In fact they are serious organised criminal groups involved in drug importation and distribution, murder, rape, extortion, debt collecting and firearms offences.
As an example of the risk for Tasmanians, police intelligence indicates that senior leadership of one of the five organised gangs intends to relocate their operations from interstate to North West Tasmania, a region that has already felt the negative impact of these gangs.
On this basis the Government urgently calls on the Labor Party to be bipartisan, listen to their briefing* on Monday and vote for this legislation in Parliament.
Our tough on crime stance is the opposite to Labor. Labor are soft on crime and have been fighting for the “rights” of criminals as opposed to victims.
It’s a continuing theme for Labor, who sacked 108 police officers when in office, and stopped tougher sentences for child sex offenders and those who assault our hardworking emergency service employees like nurses, paramedics and child protection officers.
This week we will also be introducing enabling legislation for the use of body-worn cameras by our dedicated Tasmania Police officers. We have committed $3.4 million over four years to provide cameras to all frontline officers, aimed at improving the safety of our officers and the community.
It’s a massive shame that our efforts to crack down on crime are not bipartisan, like it used to be.
The Labor Party is hopelessly out of touch with the concerns of Tasmanians – only the Hodgman Liberal Government can be trusted to keep Tasmanians safe and work with the independents in the Legislative Council to get these much needed reforms through.
*The briefing will be provided by Tasmania Police, the National Anti-Gang Squad from Australian Federal Police and a representative from Queensland Police.
Michael Ferguson, Leader of the House